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Winners announced for ‘City Benches’ design competition by LFA, City of London Corporation and Cheapside Business Alliance.


The London Festival of Architecture, City of London Corporation and Cheapside Business Alliance have announced the ten design teams selected to install a series of one-off public benches next month. Focused around the Cheapside and Eastern City Cluster districts of the City, the benches are set to transform the public realm during this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

With the competition open to architecture and design students, recent graduates and emerging practices, the selected designers each demonstrated a unique vision for street furniture that will enliven the urban environment, and serve the growing number of people using the streets and open spaces of the City and beyond.

The ten winning teams are:

Elena Boni & Studioort –

Studioort is a London-based practice working within the fields of architecture, design and urbanism, founded in 2017 by Artison Wangpraseurt. Elena Boni is a designer, urban thinker and deep observer and has a passion for anything concerned with human settlements. Together they are passionate about 21st Century cities as mankind’s main habitat and are enthused by its continuing evolution through adaptation and growth – spatially, socially and culturally.


Maria Gasparian – @mggasparian

Maria Gasparian, is an award-winning ceramic designer, architect and researcher based in London. Her multidisciplinary practice – Maria Gasparian Studio -combines art, design and architecture with a particular focus on the integration of ceramics in buildings and public spaces. Maria is currently a doctoral researcher at Central Saint Martins, London.


con | form architects  – @conformArch

con | form architects was established in 2016 with founders Ben Edgley and Eoin O’Leary having a combined experience of over 15 years working for exceptional, talented and award-winning architects. The duo has a collective desire to create transformative, contextual and original architecture.


Eleanor Dodman Architects –

Eleanor Dodman Architects was founded in London in 2018. Be it a piece of furniture, an exhibition or a building — their work strives to be both pragmatic and straightforward, while materially rich and joyful


Studio Yu X

Studio Yu x is a multi-disciplinary partnership working across architecture and design.Their work is the result of rigorous observation and investigation into each project, creating places that are both contemporary and timeless.Their architecture embraces light and materiality; developing an innate detail and craft in their built form.


Patrick McEvoy

Patrick is interested in the cultural context of architecture; his work aims to imbue a sense of narrative and to celebrate the idiosyncrasies that make spaces memorable and engaging. His bench was made with the help of Solid Geometry Structural Engineers, Tarmac, Kilnbridge Construction Services and Prewett Bizley Architects.


Mills Turner

Mills Turner is a young architecture, design and development practice based in London. The two founders gained professional experience working in Switzerland before returning to the UK to establish the firm.


McCloy + Muchemwa – – @mccloymuchemwa

McCloy + Muchemwa is the design and architecture studio of Steven McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa. With their roots on the African continent and now London-based, the studio ensure that their work is founded on a keen exploration of the artistic process, with each project as bespoke as it is innovative.


Mariya Lapteva

Mariya is a Part II Newcastle University alumnus, a casting enthusiast, with great passion for handcrafting – she presently works at Architecture Initiative in London who have been supporting her on this project. She is interested in small-scale guerrilla urban interventions, which allow her to explore her passion for hand-made objects. Mariya would also like to express her gratitude to FP McCann for their advice and help with the casting process.


Nicholas Kirk Architects – @KirkNicky

Nicholas Kirk Architects was founded in 2011. The practice is based in North London and operates in the fields of art and architecture. Through their work, they set out to challenge our perception and improve our everyday experience of the built environment.


Following the success of an earlier competition, organised as part of the London Festival of Architecture in 2012, this year’s competition aims to provide emerging young talent with the opportunity to enhance the city they live and work in, and was judged by an expert panel, including:


Pooja Agrawal (senior project officer, Greater London Authority)

Katy Ghahremani (partner, Make Architects)

Simon Glynn (assistant director, City Public Realm)

Ellie Stathaki (architecture editor, Wallpaper*)

Tamsie Thomson (director, London Festival of Architecture)


With the support of the City of London Corporation and Cheapside Business Alliance, each of the winning designers was awarded a budget of £800 to manufacture their proposals, which are currently in production. Following their installation in early June, the final designs will be revealed for the wider public to enjoy, as a focal point during the London Festival of Architecture 2018.

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