Commissioned by
  • Saint-Etienne Metropolis
  • Sara de Gouy (designer)
  • Big Bang Paysage (park’s landscaper)
  • Studio by Night (lighting design)
  • Bureau 205 (graphic design)

The «banc à palabres», an agora bench, was designed for the new Park of a small 9000 inhabitants city, who wishes to create an «intergenerational» park, adapted to all, to favor encounters.

This monumental circular bench of nine meters in diameter is installed at a crossing of bicycle and pedestrian lanes, in the center of the park. The small square created is an invitation to sit and rest. Its rounded shape enhances the beauty of the natural environment and gives this new public space a strong identity and attractiveness. Its vibrant color makes it easy to single out in the landscape. 

The metal bench is elegantly wrapped around a sculptural tree, a beautiful Catalpa, which will offers a dense shade through its foliage.

Adapted to all users by its various sitting positions heights (from 30cm to a standard height of 45cm) and its postures declensions, the bench becomes a multigenerational meeting catalyst.

The circular and geometrical shape unrolls like a ribbon, declining the possible sitting postures. To lean back comfortably, to wallow in a low part, to lie down as if to sunbathe, to sit down in staggered position… 

Thus, the agora bench offers both a meeting place and a 360° view opening on the park. 

Depending on where ones sits, the landscape view is different, towards the meadow, or the playscapes, or the «pétanque» strip… It offers different sitting orientations according to ones mood.

The project synthesizes different aims, it is a translation of multiple practices, and an impulse to change the uses and the postures in public area. 

It symbolizes the diversity of users, and the city wish to open the possible, in order to transform, impulse, question our relation to others, to our singularity.

translation : Sarah de Gouy

Non recherche-action plateforme socialdesign
Cadre budgétaire
  • undisclosed budget
Project duration
  • Delivered in June 2014
  • Unieux, France
Participating companies
  • C-cube