Sit Together @ FuoriSalone 2024 

The prototype “SIT TOGETHER” is currently exhibited at Interni Cross Vision during FuoriSalone 2024 (15 – 21 April) in Milan, Italy. The design upholds the social significance and enhances the quality of our public spaces, encouraging people to come together in the face of changing weather conditions.

Climate change requires us to think crosswise, to combine different forms of knowledge and traditions so that we may continue to socialise in public spaces regardless of outdoor conditions. In response, the Berlin-based multidisciplinary studio Topotek 1, in partnership with MDT-tex and with the support of Mapei, is developing a new range of climate-adaptive urban furniture. With their bench prototype “SIT TOGETHER,” the designers at Topotek 1 challenge mono-functionality by merging aspects of the classic European bench with the benefit of a Persian chimney in order to create environmentally responsive outdoor seating.

A combination of convection and thermal mass provides a “warm” and a “cool” side to the bench, while the cooling tower offers protection from the sun. The bench accommodates all passers-by throughout the day and the year, with seating at various inclinations that encourage encounters and lingering in comfort. For its first installation, “SIT TOGETHER” invites visitors to the Fuorisalone to find a comfortable retreat from (or in, weather-depending) the springtime sun in the Ca’Granda at the University of Milan.

Concept Rendering

“SIT TOGETHER” is conceptualised as a dual-sided bench, the concrete thermal mass of the bench is covered in a terrazzo-like surface, transitioning from dark-coloured granite on the warm side to sandstone on the cool side. The horizontal mass of the bench asymmetrically encircles a hollow aluminium cooling tower, together forming in-built climate conditioning. During times of warmth and solar gain, sprinklers near the top opening of the tower cools warm air and directs it downwards. The cool air streams out as a slight breeze through perforations just above the tower’s base towards the cool side – with its higher albedo also offering a cooler seating surface. In winter, the darker surface concentrated on the narrower side of the bench absorbs and retains heat as long as the sun shines.

Sit Together

Interni Cross Vision Fuorisalone 2024
TOPOTEK 1 In partnership with MDT-tex
Supported by Mapei
With E. Raiss GmbH + Co. Baustoffhandel KG and Ideal Posa
Location: Milan, Italy

Image Credits: Courtesy of TOPOTEK1

About Damian Holmes 3288 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/