Public indoor seating goes grand!

Published 5 April, 2019 by Johan Berhin

A lot of airports, shopping malls, and other indoor public locations wish they could go grand in architecture. And giant, organic, prestigious – and costly – buildings are a common feature. But going grand on the inside is within much closer reach, an opportunity available to all. New seating solutions offer possibilities of creating grand interiors with curving seating formations that connect seamlessly and go grand, in scale with the building.

Johan Berhin

This is a way to display the essence of the brand of the facility, and to make a lasting impression. The curved and seamless seating lines are also ideal for naturally directing the flow of visitors. Actually, they often accommodate many more passengers per square metre of floor area.

Johan Berhin, Founder & Designer, Green Furniture Concept
modular seating public space

Principles of grand architecture

A fundamental principle of architecture is that large shapes harmonize with large buildings. General architectural characteristics are in scale with the building. This is also true of interiors, and large indoor spaces need large characteristics to create an identity and communicate the first impression.

The grand architecture of prestigious public buildings is often also reflected on the inside. The architect can either go with conventional straight rows of seats that will go more or less unnoticed or choose to accentuate the lines of the building by letting the seating echo it and take on its shapes.

Most public buildings are not built with grand designer budgets and yet are still large indoor open spaces. At these more ordinary locations, rows of individual seats will also pass unremarked, the small furniture like drops in the ocean of space. Switching to large compositions and shapes in the interior will have a huge impact on the room and “Wow!” impressions can be made relatively inexpensively. The seamlessly curving seating formations can be made in scale with the room and become part of the architecture, noticed and appreciated by the passengers.

Identity through free shapes

Every public location has its own character, goals, and visions. Visions of character development can now start to materialize in the interior. Grand, seamless, seating formations express identity, while the variability of configuration can give a shape for each location. And then there is the choice of colour, or even mixes of colour, that gives life to the room and connects to the colour scheme of the brand of the facility. It all adds up to freedom of expression, multiplied.

Modular seating at Manchester Airport

Natural flow control

Seating is arranged in long lines, curving where you want them to naturally directs foot traffic without making visitors feel herded. Ends of seating rows pointing towards the gates, aisle openings facing the current, flow narrowing slightly near shop entrances. And because the seating formations are modular, the flow can be easily adjusted and redirected when changes are made in the building.

A grand revolution

Public building seating is evolving and niched challengers like Green Furniture Concept are bringing innovative options to terminals. Airports are strengthening their identities by creatively and effectively using the size of the buildings and the novel potential of grand seating formations. As the transformation takes place, locations are becoming more of an experience, more a part of the destination – and places where people quite like to be. And in the end, that’s business and happy visitors all at once.

Airport terminal placemaking design