Sunderland Granite Benches
Project year: 2017
Posted: 28 Oct, 2019
The UK is a nation
of shoppers, with high street brands and independent retail
businesses occupying a large and vital part of the UK economy. In
Sunderland, High Street West is a pedestrianised street lined with
small shops and cafés which recently benefited from a renovation
with some new natural stone benches by CED Stone Group.
City Council wanted to include seating into the scheme that would not
only have a visual impact, but also generate a sense of identity that
the local community could connect and engage with. The resulting
free-formed benches are now a key feature in the street, all made
from different igneous and metamorphic rocks; mainly granites from
China and some from Europe, including a Scottish Grampian Granite.
The intended variations in colour and shape are what makes the
collection of 2m curved benches so interesting and distinctive.
People can choose their favourite bench to rest on after a morning of
running errands, children can sit on 'their special seat' when out
shopping with parents and friends can arrange to 'meet at the green
one' before heading off for afternoon tea. As each bench is unique in
its own way, it subtly generates a personal connection to the space.
Coloured lighting installed under the benches transforms the space as
the evenings close in, making the street a fun and enjoyable route to
the delivery and logistics for the council, CED Stone Group arranged
for all of the benches to be honed in the same UK factory to ensure
uniformity in the quality and finish of the different natural stone
materials. Sunderland City Council were delighted with the finished
outcome and the changes in High Street West have been very popular
with the public, giving High Street West a new presence and
reconnecting it to the wider Sunderland area.