Clément Bench

Blanchette Architectes, Montréal

Photography: Atelier Welldone

The Nordic influence is apparent in Québec’s architecture and design vernacular, and this bespoke bench is a perfect example of that. Balanced on slim, solid wood legs, the compact minimalist body puts all of its effort into showcasing the contrasting materials from which it is made: white oak juxtaposed with industrial felt. A composition based around an offset arrangement of alternating vertical panels placed side by side creates an interesting dialogue about proportions and materials, especially given the traditional nobility and stability of white oak and a common manufactured product such as industrial felt, whose colour in this case depends on the loads of fabric offcuts from which it is made. But that dialogue is essential to the bench’s ethos. “Designed to be shared, this spacious bench is a seat that invites social interaction,” say its designers. “It offers a framework for an inclusive social model, where sharing one’s immediate space can lead to enriching interactions with others.”