Located in West Palm Beach, FL, Alexander Lofts Park is an open space for informal neighborhood gatherings and passive activities. This plaza creates a featured amenity for visitors and local residents alike. A sculptural seating piece made of laminated natural stone slabs acts as a rain garden, managing storm water. The project uses all native stone materials and drapes these materials across the site to create a wave-like form, referencing the local geology of the Florida peninsula. Surrounding the stone pavers and sculptural bench is a grass landscape that provides a carpet of green, which envelops the stone island oasis. Visitors can sit in the shade of the canopy trees and view the integral art piece, or interact with the sculpture itself, finding ways to sit, stand, lie and climb. The project was commissioned by developers of The Alexander, a 210-apartment building at 333 Fern St, as a contribution to the “Art in Public Places” program. The developers went above and beyond with the Alexander Lofts park bench and surrounding pathway.
The architect contacted the manufacturer in part due to the strong relationship from collaborating on previous projects as well as knowing their fabrication capabilities would support the vision for the design. The bench is sculpted mostly from limestone, with a color palette containing shades of cream, gold and grey, with slivers of anodized aluminum strategically placed to prevent skateboarders and bikers alike from scratching the sculpture. Along with its smooth flowing form, the sculptural bench evokes images of the sand and waves of Florida. Multiple mock-ups were create to study and determine the best way to laminate the stone, and precise carving by the manufacturer’s 5-axis milling machine was required to ensure each piece fit together seamlessly. The unique design brings a touch of serenity to the area.