London Festival of Architecture and Network Rail announce design competition for train station benches

By Elinor Stephens
October 31, 2019

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and Network Rail (NR) have announced ‘Sitting Pretty’ – an open call for new ideas for seating for the capital’s railway stations.

The winning designs are set to be installed next spring, ahead of the LFA’s 2020 event. Ten finalists will each receive £400 to draw up design concepts.

As the festival strives to promote positive change in the city’s everyday open spaces, the design competition seeks an engaging new solution to transform station seating and to brighten the experience of the capital’s stations for Londoners, commuters, and visitors alike.

Architecture and design students, recent graduates and emerging practitioners are invited to submit proposals that showcase a creative vision for these seating provisions and can inform a prototype for how a future of station seating might look.

Entrants are encouraged to consider how they can incorporate elements that could potentially be replicated across the city’s largest railway stations following next year’s London Festival of Architecture.

The competition will be judged by an expert panel, including the principal architect of Network Rail, Frank Anatole and Will Hurst, managing director of Architects’ Journal, among others.

Proposals need to be submitted by midday on 11 November.

The winning designs of last 2019’s City Benches competition – a similar format – included The Giant Causeway by Studio Yu with for City of London, June 2018, which is shown on the right.