Lewisham is a borough in inner city south east London that has experienced significant growth and regeneration in recent years. Its close proximity and good links to central London and Docklands makes Lewisham a commuter suburb for many, but its busy high street also has the feel of a traditional town centre that serves its local residents.
As well as the pedestrianised shopping streets and market area, Lewisham has an interior shopping mall, first developed as the Riverdale Centre in the late 1970s, but which has more recently been upgraded and rebranded as the Lewisham Centre. Four individual ‘arcades’ within the mall converge on the Central Square, with its glass-roofed atrium that brings welcome light into the mall and also serves as a popular meeting place, even though previously occupied mainly by temporary concession stalls.
The client approached Furnitubes for seating proposals that would further encourage the social use of the space, would extend dwell time, and provide an attractive central feature in its own right within the square.
Various options were explored, with the final selection being an organic arrangement of RailRoad seat and bench modules using the Delta seat support. A key advantage of this layout is that when all 12 modules are joined the overall assembly doesn’t require any fixing down, meaning the floor doesn’t need to be drilled into. This means the seating can be readily disassembled and relocated when the space needs to be cleared for use by other events, such as at Christmas time.
The wavy form seat comprises standard components throughout: 5 curved seating platforms each at 1.25 and 2.5m centre line radii; one at 3.75m radius; and a single straight module. Half of the platforms having backrests but are arranged in a way that gives the impression of a very bespoke seating solution.
Being for an internal application, the timber didn’t need to have the same durability to weathering as for an exterior environment, which allowed for a wider choice of timber species beyond the standard iroko. The client’s final choice was oak to complement the flooring on which the seating was located, on top of which a fire-retardant treatment was supplied to comply with the building fire safety regulations.