Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
STRATA Beam benches, designed by Jess Sorel, create distinctive gathering and resting places at home in both natural and urban settings. Bridging the worlds of the traditional and the modern, STRATA Beam combines Landscape Forms' proprietary Meldstone technology with beautifully-weathering Jarrah or Ipe in a stylish variation on the concrete and wood classic. Meldstone ultra-high performance concrete structural elements spanned by slatted wood seat surfaces provide compelling contrasts between cast and milled, hard and soft, cool and warm materials. STRATA Beam's anchoring end pieces are subtly faceted, providing a pleasing play between light and shadow, while the wood seat offers warmth and softness where the body interacts with the material. STRATA Beam benches are designed to be a modular and dynamic suite of elements—rather than a static, singular product—to enable designers to use STRATA Beam's flexibility and architectural elegance as foundation to create tailored, site-specific installations.
The STRATA Beam benches' design is based on two fundamental aims—the use of distinct materials to create compelling contrast, and the use of modularity and customization to best interface with their surroundings. Designer Jess Sorel combines both boldness and subtlety in the STRATA Beam's interaction of materials, the strong presence of cast concrete contrasting the warmth of slatted wood surfaces. Naturally-weathering wood is a familiar element in the landscape, a hue and texture that people expect and can relate to. The weightiness and geometric, sculptural quality of STRATA Beam's cast-concrete supports, however, brings a new and distinctly modern presence to outdoor spaces. STRATA Beam takes brilliant advantage of ultra-high performance concrete's capability for casting thin, strong forms that are structurally robust and heavy, while visually light and fluid. It is an embodiment of striking juxtaposition that explores contrast across the different senses—a push and pull between the familiar and the novel, the organic and the geometric, the light and the heavy, the soft and the hard, the warm and the cool.
STRATA Beam's exploration of contrast is complemented by its modularity and ability for customization, encouraging designers to use STRATA Beam's affecting presence to make aesthetic statements uniquely their own. STRATA beam benches are available in lengths of 30", 69" or 80", with customizable options for backs and the placement of arms on 80" benches—and this is just the beginning of STRATA Beam's adaptability. The innovative STRATA Beam expansion modular system widens the scope of STRATA Beam's capabilities, enabling designers and landscape architects to create completely tailored configurations based on the functional and aesthetic needs of their sites. STRATA Beam expansion joins together STRATA Beam benches using modular bridge legs and three different angle connectors in 90°, 60° and 45° to offer unmatched creative freedom in crafting customized configurations. Possible compositions range from familiar L-benches and U-benches, to fully enclosed polygons, to snaking asymmetric runs and mixed configurations in conjunction with stand-alone STRATA Beam benches. Diving deep into modularity is a direct reflection of the wants and needs of Landscape Forms' clients, an increasing desire for the ability to approach landscape elements with more creative freedom.