1961 + SUNSET ‘SOLAR’ concrete and timber park bench ‘PLANET’ planter and seats extracts from Sunset catalog

The SOLAR park bench was the first venture with Henry Satrapa around 1961 with encouragement from the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) which was anxious to stimulate better street furniture design. I knew Peter Harrison (Planning) from my teaching days at UNSW, Dick Clough (Landscape), Roger Johnson (Architecture) as well as Sir John Overall (Commissioner) who lived next to me in Jansz Cres. Griffith, ACT.

Henry was well set up for making fibreglass moulds and precasting concrete so it suited the sculptural idiom of most of my street furniture designs.

In retrospect while I feel that precast concrete is a wonderful material, its use does need to be carefully considered for its real suitability against the depredations of weather, vandalism (a big factor), unsuitably thin sections (eg. single bicycle rack), and even the misguided use of bare steel reinforcement which will eventually rust, expand and burst any thin concrete (false economy).