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Riding the Bench
June 16th, 2010

Yes, your grandparents’ kitchen counter was probably made from Corian. But, as Philadelphia found out last fall during DesignPhiladelphia 2009, the material can also be used to make really cool benches. As part of the citywide design fest, C.H. Briggs and DuPont Corian challenged local designers to play with the material and to imagine different shapes and forms to adorn the streetscape. Then they chose 14 of the designs to go ahead and manufacture. You can see some of them scattered around the city in this blog post.

After the benches had their days in the sun, CH Briggs decided to donate them to different organizations around the city, including Spells; CHAD, the Charter High School for Architecture + Design; KIPP Philadelphia Schools; and Spells Writing Lab’s program partner, Young Scholars Charter School. Ours was delivered last week by a crew from West Chester–based MacLaren Fabrication, Inc. They rolled the bench up Alder Street and into the courtyard next to the Spells building. Then they pushed the bench uphill—a major feat as it weighs around 800 pounds, thanks to a steel skeleton!

Spells’ bench is called “Span,” and it was designed by Chris Dawson of LSC Design, based in York, Pennsylvania. We think it looks like something between a cresting wave and bleachers. What do you think it looks like? We can’t wait to hear and read what Spells’ kids think of the inspiring new addition to our outdoor space. Thank you, C.H. Briggs and DuPont Corian!