Things to keep in mind before buying public benches
When it comes to equipping public areas, there are several things to consider. As street furniture professionals, we know what is involved. We want to share this knowledge with you. Read part two of our practical guide series to learn what to look for when you are purchasing public benches.
At first, a bench is just a bench, at least for the indifferent passer-by. But at a closer look, it rapidly becomes clear: there are several things to consider before making a selection. A bench in a public area can only serve its purpose if the seating is optimally coordinated with its location and its usage. That’s how, in no time, a simple bench can turn into a place of gathering, of short rest or of enjoyment, depending on where it is located.
Public benches: more than just a seat
Design, structure, material, and fastening: there are many variations of benches. Before you choose, it is essential to know exactly where the bench should be located as it has a different look whether it is located in a pedestrian zone or along a hiking trail. To help you find the ideal bench for your intended purpose, we have compiled the most important selection criteria below.
Construction: Public benches are available in different versions. Armrests, for example, are primarily used by older people but also by the disabled, by pregnant women or by the sick to help them stand up. Benches with backrests are particularly suitable for longer stays, for example as a resting place along a hiking trail. In the inner city, on the other hand, benches without backrests, such as stool benches, are preferred, as the main idea is to not make them too comfortable for passers-by, which would prevent them from shopping. A modern variant are so-called lean-on benches or walls, at first sight no longer recognizable as benches but still providing a noticeable relieve for the body. In spa areas or the public areas around hospitals and rehabilitation centers, benches for senior citizens are particularly popular: they have an elevated seating position to make sitting down and getting up easier. They also have footrests.
Arrangement: Public benches do not always have to be placed side by side or separately. Depending on where the seating is located, the benches can also be arranged in a semicircle. This rapidly creates a place of gathering, for example in a park or on a square. A non-linear arrangement of seats and benches is also conceivable: passers-by could sit across from each other, for example.
Material: Public benches come in a wide variety of materials. Depending on where the benches are to be located, different wood types are used. For an all year round outdoor bench a weatherproof wood type is ideal. If design and appearance are more important, finer wood types are also conceivable. As alternatives to wood, supports made of perforated sheet metal, steel mesh, steel tubes, concrete or plastic are also possible. These materials change the design of a park bench significantly. For example, a bench with a seat made of perforated sheet metal would fit well in the modern environment of a big city.
Design: In addition to structure, material, and arrangement the design is also a decisive factor when it comes to selecting the best bench. For it to stand in front of a historic building, it has to look different than it would in a modern shopping center. In order to do justice to all possibilities, businesses with a large product line can provide modern benches as well as classic elements that can be integrated into a wide variety of environments.
Securing: Last but not least, the securing also plays an important role in the choice of a bench. There are various installation options: embedding in concrete, ground-level anchoring, unattached installation, or subsurface anchoring and subsequent paving. So think carefully about where you want the bench to be installed. Not every surface is suitable for all the securing variants. It also depends on how long the bench has to stay in place. Will the bench be put in storage during winter? Does it stand at a location that might have to be rearranged at short notice, for example for events? Or should the bench be as flexible as possible for its users? All these issues have to be clarified before the purchase.
If you have found an answer to every point above, then nothing stands in the way of purchasing a suitable seating for your public area. The experts at ABES Design will be happy to advise you and help you find the best product.