Bench was a design competition initiated in 2012 that sought to capture the spirit of the former National Stadium using the former stadium’s seating planks to create delightful public benches. 95 benches are now located in 23 locations around Singapore, enlivening our public spaces, with many Singaporeans stopping to enjoy our beautiful cityscape even more.
The former National Stadium was a national icon that captured the hearts and imagination of Singaporeans. It was opened on 21 July 1973 by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. For over three decades, it had witnessed countless concerts, football matches and National Day parades. It was closed on 30 June 2007 to make way for the Singapore Sports Hub.
The design competition was organised by local creative practice FARM and jointly presented by URA and the Singapore Furniture Industries Council. The final designs included five winning designs from the public and another 25 from commissioned designers, artists and architects, like veteran architect Tang Guan Bee, famous photographer John Clang, multi-disciplinary design firm, PHUNK studio and established furniture designer, Lanzavecchia + Wai.
Pick a bench, Pick a place
The public had a hand in voting for their favourite designs and picking public spaces where some of these benches are now located in a “Pick a bench, Pick a place” exercise in 2014. Go visit the benches in many places like the Singapore River, Marina Bay, Gillman Barracks, Gardens by the Bay and the URA Centre. In addition, 14 benches have also been specially placed at the Istana.