The Giant’s bench is a wooden bench in the “place des géants” (Giant’s square) that crosses it from east to west. The Giant’s benchs is a communal bench where you can sit and meet up, lie down and relax. A bench that runs like a course, appearing and disappearing, twisting and stretching, curving and stretching. A bench for playing, jumping and hiding.
The Giant’s bench is a temporary installation designed and built by Bruit du frigo based on the consultation work carried out by Ateliers [dé]concertants. This prefiguration installation will feed into the study of the greening and rehabilitating project for the square carried out by the Base landscape agency.
A playful, wired layout to accompany movement around the square.
The Giant’s bench was born of the various observations and requests expressed during the consultation workshops conducted by Les Ateliers [dé]concertants in 2022. In addition to its own on-site diagnosis, Bruit du frigo drew on the recommendations booklet to propose a layout whose uses would meet the expectations expressed as closely as possible.
This involved compiling constraints and objectives:
- Respond to repeated requests for seating on the square
- Consider travel and mobility on the site
- Accompany routes
- Consider the site’s heritage identity: build on the slab’s grid pattern
- Encouraging people to take ownership of the project: devising a simple, iterative construction process for an inclusive worksite
- Consider the whole of Place des Géants without favouring any particular site
We felt it was important to consider the whole of Giant’s square, without singling out any particular space, and to come up with a simple, generous proposal that would support movement on the slab while generating usage.
The diversity of the urban vocabulary now present in the square (playground, giants, pergola, snake, paintings…) led us to create a single, duplicable object. The multiplication of the bench object means that it can be used in a variety of spaces, and responds to the need for rapid fabrication. In fact, during previous projects/workshops, we have seen a high level of involvement, particularly from children in the neighborhood. In order to involve as many local residents as possible, we imagined a participative construction site that would take place simultaneously in different parts of the square, so as to create a single object, symbolizing a collective act for the neighborhood.
The Giant’s bench is accompanied by a floor painting project to form a whole: a playful path traced on the ground or built to move around the square, offering spaces for resting, sitting, playing and meeting.
The Giant’s bench was inaugurated with a soapbox race involving local children. In parallel with the construction work, customization and rolling car workshops were organized to mobilize the children around a festive event: activating the bench’s wired path through a car race to emphasize the object’s reversibility and playful dimension.