Friday Bench: The Quest for Toro and Woodro

RHS, BoA and snowdrops 028

Toro at Victoria tube station, Circle & District Line judging by the stripe above the station name; a Friday Bench on March 11th 2011

Occasionally I get a Press Release which piques my interest. At first I didn’t think that was the case with ‘Forest’ exhibit celebrates Robin Day’s Centenary; after all, I thought it was about a different Robin Day, not the designer.

Then quite by chance I decided to read it rather than hitting the delete button like I usually do. Towards the end I found his work included iconic furniture for the Royal Festival Hall and several benches.

Woodro bench by Robin Day at Southfields station

 Woodro at Southfields tube station, District Line; a Friday Bench on September 3rd 2010

I took particular interest in the comments about his Toro and Woodro designs for Transport for London when I realised both designs were familiar.

Could I have included them as a Friday Bench? I embarked on a quest to find them and as you can see from the photos, the answer is yes.

Bench at Regent's Park Underground station

Centro at Regent’s Park tube station, Bakerloo line; a Friday Bench on December 14th 2013

The supplier’s website also shows Centro, another Robin Day design destined for tighter spaces, and as you can see, I’ve featured that as a Friday Bench too :)

Looking through my Benches archive, I’m struck at the immense variety in this simple item of public furniture. The materials used, the budget available,  the brief given by the client and the designer’s vision combine to provide quite different responses to something we take for granted whenever we need to pause or rest.

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