Modified Social Benches – South Bank

IMG 8480 - Modified Social Benches - South Bank

Jeppe Hein’s unusual creations have come to the South Bank. They will be outside the Royal Festival Hall (both at the front and sides) along the Queens’ Walk as well as adjacent to Jubillee Gardens, from 9th July until 18 September 2016.
Most of the benches have a view looking to or across the River Thames whilst three are tucked away down the sides of the Royal Festival Hall.
The benches were originally exhibited in New York, and it appears around half of the objects from this collection was allocated to the South Bank.

Southbank Centre web page - Modified Social Benches

Southbank Centre web page – Modified Social Benches


It is said the benches “question the spatial separations in social situations and challenge the amount of space that people feel necessary to set between themselves and others.”
Here are some pictures of the benches….
At front of Royal Festival Hall:
Front of Royal Festival Hall
Front of Royal Festival Hall
Front of Royal Festival Hall
Front of Royal Festival Hall
Info on Hein's work
Info on Hein’s work can be seen on pavements & walls around the site
At the west side of the Royal Festival Hall:
West side of Royal Festival Hall
West side of Royal Festival Hall
West side of Royal Festival Hall
The next one is on the Hall’s east side, with information about Hein’s work in an adjacent window:
East side of Royal Festival Hall
By Jubilee Gardens:
Adjacent to Jubilee Gardens
Adjacent to Jubilee Gardens

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3 Responses to “Modified Social Benches – South Bank

  • Very interesting. What on earth are you supposed to do with the one third from bottom though? I’m not sure if Jeppe Hein understands the concept of sitting. Maybe he/she’s a contortionist.

    • I wouldnt know, however I’d say that Hein also wanted the benches to be used like playground slides and clearly the kids loved clambering about on them!

  • The Modified Social Benches NY are intended to break with those behavioural patterns in public space, since even contact-avoiding people allow bodily closeness in limited space. With its modifications, the benches transform its surroundings into places of social activity and foster dialogue between the users and the passers-by. © Southbank Centre 1998–2015. Southbank Centre is a charity registered in England and Wales No. 298909.

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