Take a seat: City Benches winning designs revealed during LFA

City benches winners
The winners of the prestigious City Benches competition were announced a few weeks ago, and the pieces have now been installed in various locations across the City of London. Pictured here, ’The Giant Causeway’ by Studio Yu with tomos.design at the Bloomberg Arcade.
(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

The City of London is one of this year’s London Festival of Architecture’s (LFA) key focus areas, and one of the hub’s big flagship events has just been unveiled; the winning designs of the City Benches competition that took place earlier this spring have just been installed at their respective sites.

The winners, a series of one-off benches, were selected via an open-call competition that sought to reward young, dynamic practices that submitted creative designs in a range of materials and styles. The process involved the winning designs being realised and installed in a specific location – designs were matched with sites by the organisers.

The nine selected pieces have now been unveiled at a variety of London locations, including London Bridge Station, the Royal Exchange, the Bloomberg Arcade, One New Change, 150 Cheapside, Bow Church Yard, Fen Court, Creechurch Place, and Jubilee Gardens. The studios behind the imaginative creations range in scale, and their approaches are equally varied, with benches produced in everything from concrete and wood to metal and ceramics. Some reference the locale’s identity, and for others, the author has found inspiration in more personal stories and readings of the city.

‘For the London Festival of Architecture – with our mission to change London for the better and support its emerging creative talent, City Benches is the perfect project’, says LFA director Tamsie Thomson. ‘The new installations demonstrate how small-scale interventions, in the hands of talented architects and designers, can make a big difference the city around us and will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people. We’re very grateful to the City of London Corporation, Cheapside Business Alliance and Team London Bridge for making this project happen.‘

The project was brought to life as a partnership between the LFA, the City of London Corporation and Cheapside Business Alliance. The benches will remain at their current location until the end of the month, when the festival closes.

City benches winners revealed

’The Garden Bench’ by Eleanor Dodman Architects at 150 Cheapside.

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches winners unveiled.

’City Benchmark’ by Elena Boni + Studioort at Creechurch Place. 

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches winning designs revealed.

’Ceramic City Bench’ by Maria Gasparian at Bow Church Yard. 

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches winning designs unveiled.

’City Ghosts’ by Mariya Lapteva in front of the Royal Exchange. 

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches winning designs installed.

’A Bench for Everyone’ by McCloy + Muchemwa inside One New Change.

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches competition winners installed.

’Double Bench’ by Mills Turner at Fen Court.

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches competition winners revealed.

’Money Box’ by Nicholas Kirk Architects outside London Bridge Station.

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)

City benches competition winners unveiled.

’Here Lies Geoffrey Barkington’ by Patrick McEvoy at Jubilee Gardens. 

(Image credit: Agnese Sanvito)


For more information visit the London Festival of Architecture website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).