Street Furniture Your City Wishes it Had

written by:
February 4, 2012

Street furniture already catches the eye of denizens eyeing a resting spot, but in select cities it also has people marveling at their good looks. Designers from all over the world are adding flavor—with a healthy dose of colorful whimsy—to otherwise gray streets with these seats, benches, planters, and the like, but what makes these pieces even better is that tourists and locals alike actually use them, demonstrating that good modern design puts function at the heart of creation. Whether custom-designed or off-the-shelf, we break down a list of some of the coolest pieces on streets and boardwalks right now.

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  Key Bike Rack by Santa & Cole

Nothing says locking up your bike like a “key” rack, created by Spanish designers Santa & Cole. This brightly colored design—yellow and red are just a couple of the options—provides some flair to any sidewalk, offering a powerful security tool and admirable aesthetics at the same time (as seen in this photo from Fort Lauderdale, Florida).
    Key Bike Rack by Santa & Cole Nothing says locking up your bike like a “key” rack, created by Spanish designers Santa & Cole. This brightly colored design—yellow and red are just a couple of the options—provides some flair to any sidewalk, offering a powerful security tool and admirable aesthetics at the same time (as seen in this photo from Fort Lauderdale, Florida).
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  Kajen Bench by Thomas Bernstrand

Swedish designer Thomas Bernstrand has a variety of street furniture choices in his back pocket, but his “Kajen” bench—now on display throughout Sweden—comes complete with a matching footrest, not the norm in street benches. Known for his high backs (other benches of his design have even greater verticality), Bernstrand offers a different shape for the street.
    Kajen Bench by Thomas Bernstrand Swedish designer Thomas Bernstrand has a variety of street furniture choices in his back pocket, but his “Kajen” bench—now on display throughout Sweden—comes complete with a matching footrest, not the norm in street benches. Known for his high backs (other benches of his design have even greater verticality), Bernstrand offers a different shape for the street.
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  Maggie Bench by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Originally designed by Seattle landscape architectural firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol for Chicago’s Millennium Park, this sleek bench with a hint of colorful life combines “contemporary and historic elements” in one piece.  Courtesy of: 2010 JAMES POWELL
    Maggie Bench by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Originally designed by Seattle landscape architectural firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol for Chicago’s Millennium Park, this sleek bench with a hint of colorful life combines “contemporary and historic elements” in one piece.

    Courtesy of: 2010 JAMES POWELL

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  West 26th Street Viewing Spur Bench designed by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Your city might not be able to replicate New York’s High Line , but what about the wooden benches that accompany the uber trendy spot? Designed in-house by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations specifically for the project, a variety of benches provide context for the elevated park at the West 26th Street viewing space.  Courtesy of: bank details:

Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV
to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam
Acct.nr.: 512635692
IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92
BIC/Swift code:
    West 26th Street Viewing Spur Bench designed by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro Your city might not be able to replicate New York’s High Line , but what about the wooden benches that accompany the uber trendy spot? Designed in-house by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations specifically for the project, a variety of benches provide context for the elevated park at the West 26th Street viewing space.

    Courtesy of: bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:

  • 
  Railings by West 8 + DTAH

Sure, there are cool benches, but what about rapturous railings? The Rees WaveDeck by West 8 in downtown Toronto offers a modern take on separating visitors from the water: a sleek, yet rounded, railing that doesn’t limit the views of the water and compliments the wood-heavy decks.  Courtesy of:
    Railings by West 8 + DTAH Sure, there are cool benches, but what about rapturous railings? The Rees WaveDeck by West 8 in downtown Toronto offers a modern take on separating visitors from the water: a sleek, yet rounded, railing that doesn’t limit the views of the water and compliments the wood-heavy decks.

    Courtesy of:

  • 
  Pink Umbrellas by Claude Cormier

Canada’s Sugar Beach, located in downtown Toronto, offers a whimsical way to experience sand and water in an urban environment. To ratchet up the fun, Montreal designer Claude Cormier dreamed up these pink umbrellas to shade visitors in an area also featuring a colorful fountain display. The hues at Sugar Beach fit the name and contrasts the downtown core.  Courtesy of:
    Pink Umbrellas by Claude Cormier Canada’s Sugar Beach, located in downtown Toronto, offers a whimsical way to experience sand and water in an urban environment. To ratchet up the fun, Montreal designer Claude Cormier dreamed up these pink umbrellas to shade visitors in an area also featuring a colorful fountain display. The hues at Sugar Beach fit the name and contrasts the downtown core.

    Courtesy of:

  • 
  Custom-made Pots by James Corner Field Operations

To spruce up the MGM portion of the City Center Las Vegas project, these custom-made pots were designed to provide both a stable and clean way to showcase plants near the pool area of the project. Interwoven along the walking paths, the height variation and tipping sensation offers some visual respite from the Vegas glitz.
    Custom-made Pots by James Corner Field Operations To spruce up the MGM portion of the City Center Las Vegas project, these custom-made pots were designed to provide both a stable and clean way to showcase plants near the pool area of the project. Interwoven along the walking paths, the height variation and tipping sensation offers some visual respite from the Vegas glitz.
  • 
  Nu Line Bench by Landscape Forms

Race Street Pier in Philadelphia utilizes off-the-shelf benches and furnishings from Landscape Forms’ Nu Line to give visitors a way to experience the views on the newly created waterfront park. The wide benches encourage lounging and the wooden viewing stands nearby offer the chance to lean back and relax while looking out towards the water. There’s a little something for everyone, it seems.
    Nu Line Bench by Landscape Forms Race Street Pier in Philadelphia utilizes off-the-shelf benches and furnishings from Landscape Forms’ Nu Line to give visitors a way to experience the views on the newly created waterfront park. The wide benches encourage lounging and the wooden viewing stands nearby offer the chance to lean back and relax while looking out towards the water. There’s a little something for everyone, it seems.
  • 
  Granville Bench by PWL
By mixing native materials (the wood) with urban flair (the metal), PWL Partnership’s Derek Lee led the in-house design of new street furniture for Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The benches’ raised arm rests provide resistance from skateboarders, but also a provide a variety of gathering options. All-metal chairs in the same form as the bench provide smaller options that can tuck in where the benches might not fit.  Courtesy of: Copyright © 2011 Maurice Li
    Granville Bench by PWL By mixing native materials (the wood) with urban flair (the metal), PWL Partnership’s Derek Lee led the in-house design of new street furniture for Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The benches’ raised arm rests provide resistance from skateboarders, but also a provide a variety of gathering options. All-metal chairs in the same form as the bench provide smaller options that can tuck in where the benches might not fit.

    Courtesy of: Copyright © 2011 Maurice Li

  • 
  Olympic Village by PWL
A mix of street furniture designed for the Olympic Village in Vancouver offers swiveled chairs (all comforts of home right on the waterfront!) with oversized white loungers. Both get plenty of use by people looking to either relax or take in the urban waterfront sites on the newly designed boardwalk.
    Olympic Village by PWL A mix of street furniture designed for the Olympic Village in Vancouver offers swiveled chairs (all comforts of home right on the waterfront!) with oversized white loungers. Both get plenty of use by people looking to either relax or take in the urban waterfront sites on the newly designed boardwalk.
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  t3 by omos
The streets of Ireland come alive with color and texture with the t3 bench by omos. The brightly colored furniture helps bring a splash of life to a gray area and entice folks to visit the street and stay for a while.
    t3 by omos The streets of Ireland come alive with color and texture with the t3 bench by omos. The brightly colored furniture helps bring a splash of life to a gray area and entice folks to visit the street and stay for a while.
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  Melbourne Bench by Igor Solovyov
Simple, with a clear silhouette, the cast aluminum and pine wood bench by Belarusian designer Igor Solovyov pops up in urban boasts a modern, yet classical, feel.
    Melbourne Bench by Igor Solovyov Simple, with a clear silhouette, the cast aluminum and pine wood bench by Belarusian designer Igor Solovyov pops up in urban boasts a modern, yet classical, feel.

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