Social seating bench created using SMARTPLY OSB for Christmas installation at The Building Centre in Fitzrovia

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at The Building Centre, Fitzrovia, London, where Roz Barr Architects has created a circular Tin Chapel and a social seating bench using SMARTPLY OSB.

The installation in the courtyard in front of The Building Centre has been created to mark Christmas.

“We wanted to create a social space which also had an element of the spirit of Christmas,” explained Cornelius Braam, Architect at Roz Barr Architects.

“The Tin Chapel was initially created as a temporary oratory at St. Augustine’s Church in Hammersmith, London, whilst the church building was under construction. After three months in Hammersmith, it has travelled across London to form part of this Christmas installation at The Building Centre.

“The chapel is an intriguing and unobtrusive component to an installation that reminds everyone who takes a seat on the accompanying bench, of the true meaning of Christmas. The bench is thirteen metres long, encouraging people to sit contemplatively, side by side, as members of a congregation would,” Braam explained.

The bench was cut by CNC router and assembled by hand at the Building Centre’s on-site workshop. “We needed something that was strong, able to withstand the outdoors for the Christmas period and cost effective for a temporary installation,” said Braam. “It also needed to be relatively light, so we could transport it by hand from the workshop across the courtyard. SMARTPLY OSB3 offered us all this, and an interesting texture and aesthetic.”

SMARTPLY OSB3 is a sturdy, versatile board suitable for structural use in humid conditions and is manufactured with zero-added formaldehyde.

The bench is stained red using wood stain to achieve a festive look. “The appearance of the OSB adds to the overall look and feel of the installation by bringing texture and interest,” said Braam. “The surface is smooth, nonetheless, and finishes very well with the red wood-stain.”

The installation is completed with three star-topped Christmas trees, adding the finishing touches to a tranquil, festive, social space, illuminated by soft lighting.


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