Scotland’s Changing Townscapes

To celebrate nearly 30 years of Scottish housing associations incorporating public art into their developments, Scottish Housing News is running a series showcasing the best examples so far.

Fife Bench, by Fife Housing Association Alliance was completed 2012.

Designers Chris Eckerlsey and William Warren were commissioned to create a distinctive and contemporary bench to be sited in “places where people like to sit”.

Designed through community involvement and built in Fife the “Fife Bench” has been created to meet the needs of local communities across the Kingdom.

18 benches have been built so far and can be found in Buckhaven, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Inverkeithing, Kincardine and Lochgelly

One driver for the design was that the bench had to be strong, safe, weatherproof, resistant to the possibility of vandalism, long-lasting and comfortable for a wide variety of users.

The artists’ early thinking about the local Fife tartan pattern led them to explore outdoor seating in its simplest form – the picnic blanket.

The artists then researched the weaving process and evolved into their final design: a colourful blanket – translated into metal for permanence – which floats as if whipped up by a gentle breeze from the Firth of Forth. The Fife Bench is made in perforated steel and patterned in two colours.

Different colour combinations have been created for each of the benches and were chosen by the local communities.