by Brianna Crandall — April 14, 2021 — Landscape Forms, a leading North American designer and manufacturer of high-design site furniture, structure, LED lighting and accessories, recently introduced an innovative system of sculptural outdoor seating and lighting features in partnership with Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group with studios in North America, Europe and Asia
In Landscape Forms’ biggest collection introduced to-date, complementary elements bridge the realms of the sky and the ground to create a magnetic and immersive user experience. Each piece has distinctive design features, but the overall sculptural quality and the artistic use of lighting within each component enable the collection to make a larger, unified statement.
Through the synergistic spirit and deep design, engineering and manufacturing expertise that Landscape Forms and Designworks share, this collaboration challenges preconceptions about site furnishing and lighting, creating installations that serve a functional purpose yet also delight users and enhance the landscape even when not in use, says the company.
On the ground, the ribbon bench serves as a centerpiece for the collection. Modular segments in a straight configuration and two different degrees of small and large radius enable the bench to meander seamlessly throughout the landscape. It defines spaces, connects spaces, guides pedestrians, and can even form amphitheater-like circular or semicircular hubs that encourage community interaction.
On each modular segment, a thin layer of extruded ultra-high performance concrete drapes like a mantle over cast metal supports to express an elegant lightness. Soft, rounded edges invite relaxation. Contrasting the smooth, radiused form of the concrete profiles, the cast metal feet and end caps — with faceted surfaces like cut gems — communicate heft and precision in manufacturing. Protrusions on the underside of the concrete profiles nestle seamlessly into a support structure, enabling the components to join without fasteners.
The central gap between the two concrete profiles facilitates water drainage, but also serves as a mounting point for optional backrests, armrests and extended functional surfaces to be implemented in strategic locations throughout the installation. Metal screens available in a variety of perforation styles protect ribbon bench’s internal components and prevent the ingress of pests.
Emanating from within the ribbon bench, integral downward-facing lighting illuminates the space around the feature, eliminating glare and creating an illusion that the entire structure almost levitates, says the company.
LED path light
Also illuminating the ground, light-emitting diode (LED) path lights guide users throughout the space. Like a small-scale, vertical version of the ribbon bench, a concrete mantel encases the stainless-steel core of the path light to provide a premium feel and strong continuity in design.
Ring lights and stick lights
The collection’s ring lights and stick lights reach upward, illuminating the sky and guiding people to the space. Like ethereal floating halos, ring lights are stunning fixtures recognizable instantly from almost a mile away. A circular strip of LEDs creates a solid ring of ambient light that, when viewed from underneath, is like a looking glass to the sky, says the company.
Stick lights break from lighting tradition in that the pole itself is one solid source of light. These vertical columns of warm white or colored light stake claim to the site, accompanying the ribbon bench across its diverse configurations,and creating prominent visual landmarks that draw people in to the site.
With the Typology collection, the companies pushed boundaries both aesthetically and technologically, creating sculptural installations that are both functional and works of art.
Increasing the vertical scope of a site and enveloping the user — both from above and below — in an immersive art experience is a foundational inspiration for this collection. It offers visual perspective to urban environments, with signature design elements drawing the eyes up into the sky and along the ground.
This latest collection reinforces Landscape Forms’ decade-plus long relationship with Designworks, a BMW Group company — a true collaboration between leaders in design whose competencies, attitude and work methods continue to enhance and complement one another, with both the design and engineering teams helping inform each other’s decisions.
For more information and photos of the various outdoor seating and lighting elements, visit the Typology webpage.
Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Landscape Forms collaborates with renowned industrial designers and consultancies, landscape architects and architects to develop integrated collections of products that address emerging needs and help create a sense of place. With sales representatives throughout North America, the UK, Southern Europe, the UAE and Asia, the award-winning company’s clients around the world include municipalities; transit centers; corporate, college and healthcare campuses; and such brand leaders as Boeing, Cisco Systems, Disney, Sprint, American Airlines, Herman Miller and Nike.