Ritchie Studio

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The UK Pavilion ‘Nine Positions’ at the IX Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2004 was an exhibition of nine British architectural practices brought together to show how their strength came from a combination of distinct ideas and ways of working.

The ‘log’ bench was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects using techniques refined during their design of the Spire of Dublin, which was nominated for the RIBA National Award and Stirling Prize shortlist the same year. The sensuous treatment of an industrial material and the sculpture’s elegant and dynamic simplicity, bridging art and technology, are characteristic of the practice.

The bench is 406mm in diameter, 4 metres in length and the stainless steel grade is EN 1.4404 / 316L ASTM. The stainless steel was shot peened first with steel, then glass beads, to give the surface a soft feel and make it responsive to changing light as well as enhancing its durability.

Private clients bought the sculpture for the grounds of their estate where, placed in a natural setting, it now embodies its own reference to the log on which passers-by rest.