repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank

FLOAT celebrates maritime objects in the Royal Docks

 

Designer Akasaki Vanhuyse introduces FLOAT, a unique bench that harmoniously blends into the historic landscape of Royal Albert Wharf in London. The site is characterized by its industrial and maritime heritage, with scenic waterfront views and a curved quayside, the presence of various maritime objects with round and playful forms, as well as the historical pumping station made from bricks. The bench pays homage to the area’s rich history as it is made from traditional handmade clay bricks specifically chosen to reflect the surrounding architectural context of the Royal Docks. Modular and stackable, bricks enable a straightforward assembly method that is widely practiced locally. The project challenges the brick construction process by crafting a soft and rounded form reminiscent of maritime objects. The heavy and solid materiality creates an intriguing contrast with the light and soft feel of the design.

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
all images courtesy of Akasaki Vanhuyse

 

 

13 different types of bricks render the bench’s rounded form

 

The way each brick is pre-cut to precise angles and dimensions holds the core of the making process. 360 bricks are cut into 13 types before being intricately layered by skilled bricklayers. The modular and stackable nature of the bricks facilitates a straightforward assembly method, deeply rooted in local construction practices. Moreover, the inherent durability of bricks ensures longevity, enabling the bench to withstand the weather elements for years to come without requiring additional fixation to the ground. By thoughtfully utilizing repurposed deadstock bricks, the designer follows a sustainable approach. With its familiar and rounded geometry, combined with the tactile texture of the bricks, the bench stands inviting, as people are encouraged to approach and engage with it. Whether seated or reclining from any direction, the bench offers a unique experience akin to floating on water.

 

FLOAT also serves as a meeting spot, fostering connections and interactions as people naturally gather around its spiral brickwork. By seamlessly integrating the design with its immediate surroundings, the bench captures the essence of the Royal Albert Wharf as a new landmark of the town.

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
the heavy and solid materiality contrasts the light and soft feel of the design

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
the bench is made from traditional handmade clay bricks that reflect the surrounding architectural context

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
drainage gap detail

float-bench-akasaki-vanhuyse-deadstock-bricks-designboom-1800-2

the rounded geometry reminices maritime objects’ playful forms

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
modular and stackable, bricks enable a straightforward assembly method

repurposed deadstock bricks compose round FLOAT bench on london's riverbank
360 bricks are cut into 13 types with custom angles and dimensions

float-bench-akasaki-vanhuyse-deadstock-bricks-designboom-1800-3

the design draws from the faceted curved shape of the wharf edge

 

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brick color reference from the historical pumping station next to the site
brick color reference from the historical pumping station next to the site
maritime objects on site
maritime objects on site
sketch drawing of the bench - section
sketch drawing of the bench - section

project info:

 

name: FLOAT
designer: Akasaki Vanhuyse | @akasakivanhuyse

bricklayer: Formwork Construction

brick manufacturer: FabSpeedMichelmersh Brick Holdings PLC

location: Royal Albert Wharf, London, UK

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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