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CompanySORELstudio and Landscape Forms
Lead DesignersKirt Martin
ClientJess Sorel
Prize(s)Silver in Outdoor And Exercise Equipment / Patio/Garden Furniture and Accessories
Entry Description

STRATA is an innovative collection of MeldStone™ benches
and tables that reimagines what cast concrete can be.
Created in collaboration with industrial designer Jess Sorel,
it is the first Landscape Forms product specifically designed
to employ the company’s proprietary MeldStone™ Ultra
High Performance Concrete (UHPC) technology. STRATA
takes brilliant advantage of MeldStone’s capability for
casting thin, strong forms that are structurally robust and
heavy, while visually light and fluid. The collection includes
a straight bench with and without back, a backless angled
bench and an asymmetric six-sided table, all of which can
be combined in multiple ways to create out-of-the-ordinary
social settings. STRATA is ideal for parks, campuses and
other public social spaces. Its clean modern simplicity
compliments multiple architectures and landscapes.

STRATA benches have strong horizontal planes and large
flat surfaces with an angularity that makes them come
alive. The bench seat is thick at the center, progressively
thinner as it expands toward the edges, and faceted where
angles come together. The extension of the seating plane
past the steel base at the ends makes the seat appear to
float. Innovative right and left angled backless benches
provide subtle corners, so people who are conversing can
sit at angles to one another. The top and seat of the
straight- backed bench are a single casting with a cutout in
the bench back that provides views through to the
landscape. Straight and angled benches play off each other.
Benches can be placed end-to-end, or the end of one
bench can be positioned against the back of another.

STRATA tables are six-sided elements, asymmetric in their
geometry and open at the ends. Tables partner with
STRATA benches to create site-specific configurations:
singly in front of or adjacent to a bench, in linear
arrangements of two or three between facing benches, or
grouped in cell-like structures anywhere in the setting. In
addition to their usual function as useful surfaces, they help
define seating relationships, break up space, and can be
used to create seating “islands.” The tables have a certain
ambiguity about them. Their use is open to interpretation,
as opposed to being absolutely proscriptive, encouraging
experimentation by designers and planners.