The Dirty Bench of Thames
Location: Royal Docks, London
Kasawoo submitted a competition entry for a public bench installation along the Royal Docks for the upcomming London Festival of Architecture. The ambition of our project is rather simple - we want to provide the community with a beautiful and open-ended bench that has a provoking story to tell.
The Dirty Bench of Thames is an opportunistic intervention that aims to collect plastic waste from the River Thames and repurpose them as an inventive ‘material palette’ to provide not only an attractive place for people to gather, but also to act as a social commentary on our consumption pattern. As a result, The Dirty Bench of Thames is more than just a bench - it becomes a modern monument that reflects the larger cultural and ecological implications of our city through the repurposing of its waste.
Our proposal is designed around a standard off-the-shelf gabion system to streamline cost and installation efficiency. A community clean-up event will be organized by our team along the banks of Royal Docks and its vicinity to gather discarded plastic litters from public areas. The collected plastic waste, will be securely inserted into a total of 14 gabions ‘lined’ with a variety of coloful scaffold netting forming the basic building blocks of our project. Our intent is that the translucency of scaffold netting along with the shimmering quality of plastic waste, especially when under natural lighting, will cast beautiful shadows and reflections onto the ground, further accentuating the spectacle of our intervention.
Each gabion module will be organized and secured to one another as a system in the form of a cross, with a designated seat at each end. A stone slab will cap each of the designated seats to provide comfort and utility. The open-ended layout of our design allows for multiple seating arrangements, orientations and party sizes. The simple yet playful form encourages users and visitors to reimagine different ways in which the intervention can be creatively engaged.