Inspired by the many deckchairs that inhabit Toronto's Kew and Balmy beaches during the summer, SlingSwing seeks to reinstate the colour, movement and function they provide, within a winter context.
The elements of a traditional deckchair, a canvas sling and a frame, are reconfigured to provide users with an enveloping shelter from the winds and to create a fun, comfortable, meeting place, suspended above the icy sand. The slings are clustered together to trap pockets of air within the layers of canvas, and to bring people together to keep warm.
From afar, the colourful canvases evoke a sense of summer warmth and beach nostalgia, whilst the breeze continuously animates their forms, bringing movement and dynamic colour to the winter landscape. The bright orange of the canvas was inspired by the life-saving paraphernalia attached to the stand, both as a reference to stand's function, and to act as a warm, contrasting beacon within the frozen landscape.
A portable micro-park that replaces two standard car parking spaces, to provide urban greening, public seating, and air quality monitoring functions.
The approach was to create a singular sculptural seating element around which zones of planting and small pockets of public space could occur and overlap, encouraging passers-by to stop and gather. The resulting interwoven seating and planting provide a buffer zone to the busy road, and create an organic extension of the pavement. Materials are low cost and off-the shelf, with the bench and base elements constructed entirely from standard scaffolding boards.
The parklet also houses an air quality monitor that feeds real-time data to an app and website designed by Kings College London, forming part of their wider network of air quality data collection points within London.
This first parklet has been delivered as part of the Team London Bridge ‘Fresh Air Squares’ initiative, supported by the Transport for London Future Streets Incubator fund. Additional benches were installed in and around the London Bridge area in 2016-17, with further versions and configurations planned for 2018-19.
Following the positive impact made by the original ‘Parked Bench’, three further iterations were installed in and around the London Bridge area. Intended to form an extended family, the new parklets share the materiality and construction of the original, but are shaped by their specific contexts to introduce further diversity in form, colour, and planting.
SUPER SCALE SWATCH
The project marks the first collaboration between WMBstudio and Make Liverpool, a collective of makers, fabricators and artisans. Based in warehouses in the north docks of the city, the space offers local makers flexible workshop and collaborative space.
Commissioned by Spanish timber product manufacturer FINSA, the project is an exhibition stand for the KBB 2018 event at Birmingham NEC, and is part of their push to directly connect designers, manufacturers and makers.
Conceptually the installation is conceived as a piazza containing a freestanding inhabited wall. On the piazza facing side, the wall presents a three-dimensional sculptural colour swatch, composed of a selection of colours, textures, woodgrains and veneers taken from the wider FINSA product range. Panels are arranged as two gradients that alternate and intersect, juxtaposing colour with texture.
The triangular cladding modules are rotated to create variations in light, shadow and depth, and encourage alternative perceptions of the surface finishes. On the rear side, the wall is carved to form three niches, each housing a prototype kitchen, with an additional opening acting as a threshold between the two sides.
The wall structure is crafted from raw redwood timber sections, contrasting with the factory-finished panels, and celebrating the elemental base material of all FINSA products.
Prefabricated for re-use at other trade events around Europe, the design is intended to allow full re-purposing of all elements – The coloured triangular ‘pixels’ will be converted into stools and benches for local organisations, whilst the structural cubes will be re-configured to form a shared tiered seating and presentation space within a new co-working space, close to FINSA's UK head office.
WMB studio were commissioned to design FINSA UK’s stand for Surface Design Show 2019. The installation is part of a wider ongoing collaboration with FINSA that seeks to challenge the wasteful nature of single-use exhibition structures, and aims to provide highly re-usable, flexible, and useful objects afterwards. Designed around a 450mm timber cube module, the kit of parts approach allows for implementation at a range of scales from seating and furniture, through to small pavilions and buildings.
The approach at SDS was to create a simple cubic volume that maximised the permissible dimensions of the plot. The cubes are stacked, staggered, and rotated, expressing the structure as a permeable composition of individual cubes, in turn generating the geometry of the interior. In contrast to the exterior, the grotto-like interior displays angled sample materials for observation and interaction.
Real timber veneers are at low level, and intended to be touchable, whilst melamines are located further above. The upper level materials are only seen reflected in a mirrored ceiling, blurring the boundary between what appears real and what is reflected image and alters the perceived height of the interior.
Prior to the Surface Design Show iteration, the same kit of parts was used for an interiors show at the NEC in 2018. This configuration took the form of a sculptural, inhabited wall, and piazza. The wall essentially acted as a super-scaled, three-dimensional colour swatch, showcasing the wider melamine range in a spectral array, whilst the piazza became a place for visitors to sit, gather, and meet.Further configurations are planned for the coming year, after which the modules will be demounted to become benches, furniture, and smaller installations.
As one of Europe’s largest and busiest children’s hospitals, Alder Hey relies on continual innovation, improvement, and feedback from users and staff. As a result, the hospital identified a need for new feedback spaces within their buildings.
The project specifically addresses the brief to provide hospital staff with a private space, within which the recording of thoughts, ideas, and feedback can be made.
The approach was to design an inherently flexible object, that as well as fulfilling the key objective of the brief, could become a micro meeting space, an informal conversation space, and a destination within the hospital itself. The form is derived from a radiused and extruded equilateral triangle, that can be broken down into three equal movable segments.
The segmentation facilitates ease of movement around the various hospital departments, and allows for reconfiguration and flexible use as a pair or individual segments.
The language of acoustic foam pyramids, commonly found within the interiors of sound booths, is inverted to become a functional, expressive, sculptural, and tactile skin, that is distinctive within the hospital environment and engaging for patients and staff alike.
Internally, a birch ply lining combines with warm coloured fabrics to create a comfortable and calming space for thought and contemplation. An oculus rooflight and porthole windows ensure natural light ingress, whilst maintaining visibility of, and connection to the wider hospital environment.