The German manufacturer Rosskopf + Partner manufactured and assembled a 65-meter-long outdoor bench for the Swedish university city of Uppsala. This fourth largest city in the country lies about 70 km north of the Swedish capital Stockholm. In its heart a the pedestrian zone and the central square “Forumtorget”, whose panorama since the spring of 2018 is enriched by an atypical set of outdoor seating. Rosskopf + Partner, a stone materials specialist, made bold designs for this giant “sofa” created by architects from the studio White Arkitekter.
Already in 2011, the city of Uppsala launched a tender for the reconstruction and redesign of the central square of the pedestrian zone, which included the creation of a place for sitting and relaxing.
The organic shapes of this long set form an imaginary axis between the two parts of the square and tactfully connect the two levels of sidewalks. At the same time, it offers plenty of space on both sides for sitting, lying down and pleasant relaxation for visitors and residents of the city.
What makes the bench extraordinary is its three-dimensional configuration. More than 7,000 slabs of glass and engineered stone joined together form an impressive work of art. No part of it is the same; each piece is unique in its shape. Transparent and opaque elements are installed alternately so that together they form a slowly changing line. Shiny metal strips protrude at regular intervals, which serve as armrests.
Approximately 1,100 square meters of TechniStone® engineered stone stone in a special Light Gray exterior collection was used to create the bench. White Arkitekter specialists compiled project documentation using Dsearch technology, which was developed to highlight the organic inequalities of individual parts and was responsible for coordinating the development of digital designs. The work was then cut using water jet technology according to their exact technical specifications.
Thanks to its clear surface, the bench is a significant domain of the square during the day and at night, when it is illuminated by a light installation. The milky glass elements are backlit with different colors that change their intensity along the entire length of the bench. This creates a cheerful and playful atmosphere as well as a pleasant feeling of warmth and safety for all passers-by.
The proposals were accepted in October 2018. Project manager Sandro Gieck retrospectively said of the project: „It was a truly extraordinary project. Between July 2017 and February 2018, we produced and assembled 7,000 differently shaped and different pieces; it was one big jigsaw puzzle. Adherence to all parameters and its exact assembly was a real challenge for us. Add to that the challenging conditions of the Swedish winter. When I returned to this place in the summer, I was incredibly excited to be able to experience this work in its daily life. We are proud to have been involved in the creation of this atypical building, which really connects people and has a significant impact on the cityscape. “