Distinctive Public Benches
Laeticia Petitjean, 31, Frédéric Forest-Côté, 26 and Monique Mascle, 27 met on school benches during their first ÉÉAM workshop. Now in their second program, all three share a passion for wood. Together they make up the team that was selected to design and manufacture urban furniture for Montréal’s Green Network, in response to a call for proposals from Rosemont-Petite-Patrie borough.
“By taking on this contract, these students put their knowledge to work. They began by formulating and presenting their ideas, then put them into action,” said Jessica Beauchemin, Project Manager at the École d’ébénisterie d’art de Montréal.
Unique Urban Furniture
Lying in the shadow of the Carrières incinerator, the student’s multi-coloured benches are not just eye catching, but a convenient waystation for cyclists, who simply slip their rear wheels into stands integrated into the bench ends. A new Biciborne repair station is nearby—as well as a water fountain for those who wish to quench their thirst before pedalling, or jogging, along.
The rail lines on the other side of the fence groan under the strain of one of the VIA Rail locomotives making its daily run.
“We wanted train-themed benches, because of the site,” said Laetitia Petitjean. “The benches look a bit like freight cars riding on their track-like metal frames and are laid out like waiting room seats in a station.”
Since the students’ goal was to reclaim expensive recycled ash provided by the borough, the students fabricated each part, piece by piece, after months of tweaking their plans under the supervision of Gabrielle Ouellette, Special Projects Coordinator and Instructor at ÉÉAM.
“We are working with torrefied wood, which has a reputation for strength, but is difficult to handle because it often splits,” he said.
“We drilled 560 of these small blocks and cut them at angles,” said Frédéric, pointing to one specimen among the dozens of other blocks needed to make a single bench. The team built nine
“It’s very satisfying to know that we’ve made a small contribution to the urban landscape,” said Monique.
Following this excellent team experience, the students created the Collectif Ébénistes Kopo to join forces in producing exceptional creations. We wish these three wood artists long and successful careers!
Bois public, a non-profit dedicated to returning public trees to the community, while supporting an employment integration project, has also produced extraordinary benches for the Green Network. Most are located near the Van Horne overpass.