Street & Garden director David Shaw was engaged to design the original street furniture for Franklin Square in Hobart back in 1987. As part of a revitalisation project, Hobart City Council invited Street & Garden to once again be involved in the custom design for items with the space.
The brief for the project entailed a series of seating elements including a number of large 12m long sweeping curved bench seats. Particularly given the heritage nature of the site, one of the major considerations for the project was relating any new furniture elements back to the original designs. The originals utilised castings, so this was the starting point for the range. These cast elements were then paired with fabricated sheet metal elements and a customised pattern detail inspired by aspects of the site.
As the framing and castings were manufactured interstate, freight and logistics were key considerations, with all elements designed for efficient packing and assembly. The design for the seating essentially became a modular system. Street & Garden also worked closely with local Tasmanian suppliers and manufacturers for the shaped timber components. These were produced with a unique Hydrowood timber which was sourced from reclaimed materials from the Pieman Lake.
Revisiting the Franklin Square project nearly 30 years on from the original created a unique opportunity to approach the context from a slightly different perspective. While some aspects remained the same in terms of functionality, site conditions, and heritage considerations, others have changed quite dramatically. This was particularly evident in the manufacturing processes, with full CNC production utilised for the current instalment. This created an outcome that was just not achievable when the original project commenced.