For London Design Festival 2022, Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis has created the ‘Swivel’ rotating chairs for an outdoor public installation. The installation will remain a long-term fixture in one of the busiest streets in St. Giles Square, London. In collaboration with the unique surface material innovator and manufacturer SolidNature and Almacantar, Marcelis has come up with a series of vibrant rotating stone chairs to encourage passersby to connect, relax, and play.
Hand-Picked Natural Stones
The catch is, these chairs consist of natural stones, like marble, granite, travertine, and quartzite. Marcelis has herself picked the stones from the SolidNature factory in Aalsmeer, Netherlands to form the installation. It is because she wanted to pick only unique colorful stones with interesting natural patterns that stand out in otherwise grey city background. As a result, these newly installed public seats in specifically cut-out shapes focus on each stone’s exquisite patterns.
Sabine Marcelis explained,
This project, as with most of my work, is a celebration of materials. I wanted to respond to the space by injecting a bit of color and fun into this urban environment. Deliberately choosing a natural material in a range of colors, I wanted to create a strong contrast with the surrounding architecture and the manmade material palette. Being an interactive piece, it welcomes audiences to decide how they would like to experience the space. It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, for friends to sit together or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves.
Material Does the Talking
Made from leftover stone off-cuts and stone dust, SolidNature’s sustainable surface material makes the public furniture project environmentally friendly. Besides durability and longevity, another purpose for choosing natural stone was to let the material do all the talking for itself.
Juxtaposing natural materials with the surrounding concrete and glass, Marcelis’ Swivel installation creates a playground of seating that invites pedestrians to pause their journey. It is specifically commissioned for London Design Festival’s 20th anniversary and will stay in St Giles Square for a few more months until November 2022.