Bench to Impress
Safety First, as the old maxim goes (unless you’re Harold Lloyd), and the foremost attribute Camden London Borough Council wanted from their eponymous bench was safety for its users. As such, the bench boasts recessed alcoves front and back that allow users to set their bags both closer to themselves, out of the reach of opportunistic street thieves. The design also consciously excludes niches, slots and crevices often used to secrete illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
The Camden Bench is easy to clean, having no flat areas or depressions that allow dirt and debris to build up. The surface is smooth, honed concrete that resists water, dirt, graffiti and stickers. No wonder they look so bland! Speaking of the surface, it’s hard to find a straight line anywhere on the bench. While this allows any and all members of the public to find their “sweet spot”, so to speak, ithe undulating shape also presents those who would try sleeping on the bench with an insurmountable problem.
Living Without ‘Boarders
Continuing on that sinuous line, the Camden bench is the latest salvo in city authorities’ war on skateboarders. In 2014, the UK’s The Guardian newspaper challenged some local ‘boarders to attempt some moves on a Camden bench… their efforts are documented on this short video. Mind you, there’s no possibility of skateboarders’ shifting the roughly 1,765 kg (about two tons) bench – the idea is to shift those noisy skateboarders to another part of twon.