Benchmark was asked to design a number of pieces of external furniture for the rooftop garden of IKEA's iconic new Greenwich store.
This ambitious £100 million project is hailed as the Swedish flatpack giant’s most sustainable store and includes one of Britain’s largest green rooftop spaces with panoramic views across London.
The impressive outdoor space combines biodiversity features, rainwater storage, solar panels, orchards, wild meadows and a flexible event space with plans for open air yoga and meditation classes.
The brief was for furniture that was hardwearing, practical, in keeping with the surrounding building and self-supporting so it could be repositioned as required.
Benchmark adapted the Campus range to incorporate a modern aluminium frame with a large radius on all edges to provide more comfort to users. This was matched with FSC iroko hardwood to fit in with the Scandinavian larch pavilion. The newly developed large Campus sun loungers were designed to allow two people to soak up the surrounding atmosphere.
For the showpiece of the space, a multi-purpose large timber photoframe bench was created, to allow customers to take a selfie with the dramatic London skyline perfectly framed. This needed a strong internal structure hidden from view, and the Campus timber street furniture was clad in timber slats to produce a striking but sympathetic focal point to the space.
Benchmark worked closely with the main contractor, Bridgman & Bridgman, discussing design options, ensuring the products would work with their pedestal supported paving, and in the final stages for lifting the products safely onto the roof.
The completed urban rooftop has brought an added dimension to this IKEA store and to the way commercial retail buildings are designed and constructed.