What is place-making through design? How is this achieved, and what benefits do airports see?
Green Furniture’s designs create a sense of place by filling space with identity, meaning and function such as biophilic elements, high seating density and natural traffic-flow control. We want to help people have positive experiences and memories, and we do this by creating ambient places to rest, socialize and work. This is proven to increase retail figures at airports due to longer dwell time as a direct impact of enhanced passenger satisfaction.
Can you tell us about one of your recent projects?
Last year, Network Rail, which handles many of London’s railway stations, started to roll out new seating from Green Furniture Concept on southeast routes including London Bridge and Victoria stations. More London stations will be rolled out during 2020.
The initiative started with the National Rail Passenger Survey that was done in autumn 2018. It showed just 23% passenger satisfaction with seating at Victoria and 36% at London Bridge. The southeast route team decided to upgrade the seating in response to that passenger feedback, and the total seat capacity at Victoria and London Bridge will be increased from 150 at each station to 400 at each station.
The seating, which is similar to that installed at Stansted Airport, is made by Green Furniture Concept. The team chose a multicolored wooden configuration with tables built in for laptops and coffee cups. It fits the environment and lets passengers sit down and relax. Most of the seating is also fitted with power that lets the visitors charge devices through USB outlets and wireless charging stations.
What did Green Furniture do in Paris Orly Airport?
The brand-new Terminal 3 build focused mainly on stone, water and wood, which gives a natural feeling of well-being before traveling.
The seating from Green Furniture was mainly chosen because of its flexibility to adapt to different sizes and shapes of the space, and its biophilic design properties. Bringing natural elements such as wood to interiors has been demonstrated through research to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, while increasing productivity, creativity and rates of well-being. These qualities are what many airports seek to implement to calm their passengers before take-off.
Can airports be made more sustainable?
Integrating sustainability into projects from the outset is the best way to guarantee the long-term future of airports. Improved environmental performance, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and striving for carbon neutrality, is an obvious agenda for most airports. Using durable building materials from sustainable resources is also becoming more important. Durable furniture gives a long lifespan. Our furniture meets all these criteria by being easy to maintain and is designed from parts that are easy to replace or recycle. All series are also upgradable and can adjust to changes in space and time.
What new products are you working on?
Our outstanding design team is constantly upgrading all our ranges with amazing functionality. So far, we have predominantly worked with our multiple-award-winning Nova C series for commercial areas. But for years we have been thinking of how we could evolve gate areas and take them beyond the beam-seater era that has not evolved since the 1940s. Allowing airport architects freedom to create amazing waiting areas has always been our guiding star. So we are now developing a new series called the Flow series – a completely new concept for airport gates.
What will be on display at your booth at this year’s Passenger Terminal EXPO?
We will, of course, present the classic Nova C series for which we are best known, with new features, and also the Recliner, which is a lounge variant for commercial areas. But new for this year, and something that excites me the most, is the gate concept we are launching in Paris. We will present both the Perch for short-stay gates, and the brand-new Flow series that will give architects the ability to create exciting gates with 30% better space efficiency. We are very excited to present this for the first time at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Paris.