Roly Poly Bench


The ‘Roly Poly’ bench designed by Urban Radicals as part of the London Festival of Architecture within the competition Pews and Perches. The spinning bench can be found at the Singlo Square at The Royal Docks.

Drawing inspiration from the distinct form of the Royal docks, signalling buoys, the interactive rocking bench design sits within the new development around Rad London.

 This is a collaboration between Urban Radical, Millimetre Design, and Studio Sanne Visser. The Roly Poly offers a sustainable reinterpretation of the area's rope making traditions .︎

Roly Poly revives and reinterprets elements of the Royal Docks’ history to create a playful and interactive rocking bench for the London Festival of Architecture.

The design draws inspiration from the buoys which signaled and guided boats through the river and docks. Standing freely and lightly rocking, these became landmarks of a remarkably rich era in which London development was powered by infrastructure along the River Thames and today can be seen as freestanding monuments.

Futhering this connection to the past is a handle dressed in rope made from human hair, handcrafted by Sanne Visser, which re-interprets and celebrates the craft of marine rope making and the once prominent boat yards of Royal Docks, while giving the bench a contrasting layer of tactility and softness.

Blocks of cork were laminated and robotically machined to form the main body of the bench whilst a concrete base was used to balance the centre of mass so that after rigorous tilting the bench is able to correct itself into an upright position, eliminating the need for ground anchoring. 


Want to take a spin on the bench? Here’s the address to get your right there.