Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41

BANCS PUBLICS

...the form of furniture encodes
or resists social norms...

3. THE RUSTIC CAMP CHAIR
In Claude Cormier + Associés Sugar Beach in downtown
Toronto, people doze, feet buried in the sand, arms stretched
out on broad armrests, close to the water's edge. The high
seatback of the cottage-country chairs provides some
privacy and anonymity from behind, and the low profile of
the seat positions hips just inches above the sand. Shaded
by a gang of pink umbrellas, visitors can cluster the chairs or
move with the changing sun. The three-slat Adirondack by
Loll Design is based on the classic Adirondack Chair (known
in Ontario as the Muskoka Chair), but unlike its wooden
predecessors, is made of recycled high-density polyethylene
(HDPE), a durable plastic.
The Adirondack Chair, originally the Westport Chair, was
designed at the turn of the 20 th century for a summerhouse
in Westport, New York. Its softwood construction and
reclined profile were ideal for relaxing, and easily oriented
towards any rustic landscape, whether a mountain vista or
a lakeside or a forest clearing. As the Adirondacks became
associated with recreation and health retreats, the chair
design came to symbolize this leisurely form of interacting
with nature. Small workshops and homeowners could
construct the simple chair from 3/4 inch thick slats of cedar
and other softwoods. By the 1940s, kits were available by
mail order, and the chairs spread through North American
cottage country.
When West 8 and DTAH submitted their proposal for
the Toronto Waterfront competition, West 8's Adriaan
Geuze alluded to the Muskoka Chair as symbolic of Ontario's
relationship to lakes. While Toronto's specific urban
condition is disconnected from remote cottage country, the
team argued that the city urgently needed to express its
cultural relationship to the lake. In Claude Cormier + Associés
Sugar Beach, and its predecessor, HT0 (in collaboration with
Janet Rosenberg + Studio and Hariri Pontarini Architects),
Muskoka chairs and beach paraphernalia prompt a rethinking
of waterfront culture. The urban, industrial waterfront has

been supplanted; the chairs, with the beachside umbrellas
and sand, suggest solitude and prompt visitors to connect
Lake Ontario with the other Ontario lakeside retreats
"in nature." Sugar Beach introduces the free, shirtless
and relaxed vibe of the beach into the frays of Toronto's
business district.
A MORE GENEROUS LANGUAGE
At Sugar Beach, and on Rome's Unire/Unite, and on Green
Bay's CityDeck, we are reclining, stretching and lounging as
new typologies, once foreign to urban plazas and parks, are
settling in. These projects suggest a new form of comfort
and appropriation, as urban spaces encourage more open
bodily expressions, and generously activate public places;
they do so by referring to domestic comfort and health, and
by reframing a relationship within nature.
At the same time, how does this newfound comfort
relate to the broader context of contemporary public space?
In some of our most liberating landscapes, public access is
restricted; they close at dusk and have an on-going security
presence. Many are "privately owned" public spaces.
While we celebrate the potential of design to bring new
expressive modes of seating to the public, how can design
also involve a critical stance on inclusion in public space,
more broadly writ?

jhutton@gsd.harvard.edu
DRAWINGS | DESSINS JANE HUTTON

2015 vol. 17_no. 1 41



Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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