A bench mark for Berkhamsted’s future

Bench competition - Human Hive

Bench competition - Human Hive

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These are the futuristic benches which could greet visitors to Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery.

The three winners were chosen after both a public vote by thousands of people and by the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project Board.

Bench competition - Family Seat

Bench competition - Family Seat

And competition organisers now hope that Lottery funding will see them be turned into real seats in the cemetery.

The overall winner of the £1,000 first prize is Andrew 
Ingham of London, who 
designed the ‘Cruciform Bench’.

This was described as, “a nice minimalist design, economical and contemporary, with the cruciform structure hinting at religious influences on the site”. Second place went to the ‘Family Seat’ designed by Ania Khodabakhshian of Iran.

This was described by the panel as, “a potentially beautiful and magical piece, once the structural aspects have been fully developed.”

Bench competition - Cruciform

Bench competition - Cruciform

And third choice was the ‘Human Hive’ – designed by Ivana Linderova of London –seen as, “an attractive feature associated with the beehive and connotations of a complex, interwoven society”.

The competition attracted 52 entries from far and wide including Chile, India, New York, Malaysia and Russia.

James Moir, convenor of the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project, said: “With so many cultural influences informing the designs, the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project has, as part of the Lottery Funded 
Development Phase of the Project, learnt so much about the possibilities for creating an exciting seat sculpture trail in the cemetery.

“We eagerly await the final 
decision as to whether the 
Lottery will be providing 
the capital funding for the 
delivery of the project.

“If successful, we shall be investigating the potential for turning the winning entries into real seats.

“Equally, even if a prize has not been won, we may be 
contacting individual entrants 
to develop their designs 
further when we come to plan and install all of the benches on the site.”

He added: “Given the rich variety of entries, it has been 
a challenging choice and we are sincerely grateful to all participants for sharing their marvelous visions for seating in this sensitive site.”

>What do you think of the designs. Email us at Gazette@jpress.co.uk