Bench. Wednesday , January 31st , 2018 - 11:24:20 AM
A well-designed bench in the right location can be a real hub of activity along a sidewalk. Even though the primary purpose of a bench should be the convenience and comfort of the person using it, many benches are not used because they are cold, hard, uncomfortable, or located in the wrong place.
The most important decision that needs to be made in selecting a bench, or any other type of public space amenity, is whether it is needed and whether it will be used. This requires visiting the area and noting the types of seating that already exist; the types of land uses (e.g., shops, offices, residences) that are along the street; and the potential clientele (e.g., office workers, shoppers) in the area who would be likely to use the benches. Locations where people already sit (on steps, ledges, etc.) should also be noted. This type of on-site observation is important in making decisions about where, how many, and what types of benches are needed.
Benches retained their popularity as fitted seats in window alcoves, but in the 16th century they lost favour as freestanding pieces of furniture when chairs became more widely used. Upholstered versions were also made. Some of the most spectacular benches were made in the Spanish colonies in South America in the 17th century, notably in Cuzco, Peru, where benches bore enormous carved crestings and balustraded backs that were painted and gilded.
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