Simon Fraser University, Academic Quadrangle, Fraser Benches

Created initially for the pyramid landscape in the academic quadrangle to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary, the bench design considers SFU’s architecture. Architect Arthur Erickson designed the university in 1965.

 

The design is wholly practical: the angled seat with its 1/4” gap in the centre drains rainwater quickly, providing dryer seating and, in turn, creates an elegant, yet strong bench built to stand the test of time atop Burnaby Mountain.

 

  • Polished stainless steel.

 

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Description

Created for the university’s 50th anniversary, the Fraser bench design considers SFU’s architecture:

“The pyramid is a key feature of the 1965 design of the original Academic Quadrangle. …Inspired by Arthur Erickson, …the design for the benches by award-winning furniture designer Sholto Scruton of Sholto Design Studio is intended to complement the architectural surroundings without pretending to have been part of the original design. The design reflects the vocabulary of the buildings and plays with the weight and volume of the AQ buildings which are suspended above the ground with minimal support. “— Facilities, Simon Fraser University.

The twenty-one benches are designed to quickly drain water from the seat, accommodate a number of positions comfortably and withstand abuse for a couple of hundred years. They were locally made from two bent 1/4” stainless steel halves welded to a 1/4” spacer that created a channel for the rainwater to drain and, most importantly, a comfortable seat.

The SFU benches appear in this Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects video 1 and video 2; and SFU’s Public Realm Projects.