Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to NOT Install a Park Bench

The photos below were taken in Barcelona, in the same neighborhood as a job site. I had to stop and snap a few shots of these ridiculously-set benches.

It's hard to see in this first photo how steep the cross-slope is. But it must be around 4%, maybe more (a wheelchair ramp with a handrail is usually around 8.33% -- at least in the US -- so that's my gauge). Now, I can totally understand how sometimes details get missed in the design process; mistakes happen. But what bewilders me is that people(probably more than 2!) took part in the installation of these benches and, evidently, decided to ignore the existing pitch.

I wonder what discussion took place. Did they realize the oversight upon delivery of the benches and just figured, well, let's put them in and hope no one notices?

This is, of course, in no way a dig on Barcelona, which boasts many finer examples of landscape architecture. It's just one of those terribly rare -- but absolutely perfect -- illustrations of how things can go awry between design concept and finished product.

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