A charming trio of sails has popped up in Montreal, but they aren’t located on water. Les Atelier Guyon's award-winning Sails Benches are crafted in the shape of sailboats. Located on a flat green lawn overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the urban structures were commissioned as a monument honoring the founding families of Montreal’s off-island suburb Verchères.
Despite their contemporary appearance, the Sails Benches were created to evoke Verchères’ history. Félix Guyon, founder of Les Atelier Guyon, sought to recreate the atmosphere of the seventeenth century, an era that he describes as “a time without roads, when the only means of transportation was a ship, propelled by water and wind.” Part memorial, part street furniture, the Sails Benches are installed in the former location of Fort Vercheres.
The Sails Benches were constructed from concrete, metal, and white oak. White oak was selected because it was used to construct sailboats and barrels in the seventeenth century. Each bench is tilted 10 degrees to create the illusion that they’re boats out at sea and to optimize seating conditions. The beautiful and functional sculptures were also designed to withstand the region’s harsh weather, including 90-kilometer-per-hour winds and icy conditions.
Sails Benches won in the Furniture Category at the World Interiors News Awards 2015 in London. The project was completed for a budget of $22,000 in October 2013.
Images via Félix Guyon