Oil Drum Upcycled Into Outdoor Public Bench

June 21, 2012 by

For Perches and Pews, a student competition to design public benches for the London Architecture Festival 2012, designer Robert Johnson recycled an old oil drum into a rotating outdoor bench. To keep the seat steady when not in use, the drum is filled with golf balls. Working with his brother, a cabinet maker, Johnson will complete three painted drums to make up the final seating arrangement.

Event producers London Pleasure Gardens challenged students to come up with unique ways to pause and absorb the festival atmosphere. With a budget of £150, and a tight deadline of just a month, the challenge resulted in 35 fascinating and functional public bench designs that will be installed throughout the London Pleasure Gardens site at the Royal Docks in East London from June 23-24.

Student Caroline Lundin poses next to her bench constructed for the competition from a colorful lattice design. 

The theme of the 2012 Festival is ‘The Playful City’, a response to London’s hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London Festival of Architecture, which will be held from June 23-July 8, is a city-wide celebration of architecture and architectural talent in the UK capital which brings architects and communities together to examine how to make London a better place.


  1. Agen Bola said:

    Oh wow how cool is this bench and so versatile! I can think of loads of places where this could be used but especially like the picture with the champagne cooling â?? roll on summer holidaysâ?¦. 🙂

    — August 16, 2012 @ 21:37

  2. shamsard said:

    Very cool! we used an old oil drum to make an interior bench a couple of months ago

    — August 25, 2012 @ 04:21

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