Sails Benches by Les Ateliers Guyon

Sails Benches by Les Ateliers Guyon

Sails Benches, a park bench designed by Les Ateliers Guyon, won in the Furniture Category at the 2015 World Interiors News Awards.

Félix Guyon stands out for his artistic approach to design. Promoting a very polished aesthetic, contrasting eras, styles and materials, he seeks to create pieces that are unique as opposed to industrialized. It is this approach that attracted the attention of the team from the municipality of Vercheres, a small village 30 minutes from Montreal on the banks of the St. Lawrence.

"When Martin Massicotte, the city planner, told me about his idea, I immediately transported to the seventeenth century, a time without roads; when the only means of transportation was a ship, propelled by water and wind. The idea for the project came to life," Guyon explained.

The brief was simple: create an unusual work where users can comfortably sit and contemplate to the sound of wind and waves, along the majesty of the banks of the St. Lawrence. Guyon wanted to create a memorial while integrating functional street furniture. He imagined the majestic sails of white oak, concrete and metal, echoing the chapter in history and to be installed where Fort Vercheres stood in 1670. The white oak was chosen by the designer as the same wood was used in the seventeenth century for the construction of sailboats and barrels.

This area of the St. Lawrence is especially prone to a rapidly changing and sometimes violent weather - winds reaching 90km/h. Mist, smog, ice and snow can be very abundant due to the proximity of the river. Moreover, for aesthetic and ergonomic reasons, the work must be tilted 10 degrees - both to give the impression of sails flying and for users to be comfortable.

Photos: Félix Guyon

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