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STRATA Beam: A Versatile New Direction In One-of-a-Kind Outdoor Space Design 

Created in a collaboration between Landscape Forms and industrial designer Jess Sorel, STRATA Beam is a cornerstone family of benches and tables that, for nearly a decade, has defined modern high-profile outdoor spaces. Born out of design and material exploration, innovation, and juxtaposition, STRATA Beam has naturally grown and evolved—and continues to do so—over its celebrated lifetime.

This year marks STRATA  Beam’s next iteration, an expansion of the STRATA Beam bench that maintains its hallmark sense of material contrast, but now opens up a new realm of modularity and adaptable functionality. The expansion enables STRATA Beam benches to join together using modular bridge legs and different angled connectors to offer unmatched creative freedom in crafting customized configurations. It’s a new vision for STRATA Beam that sees the bench not as a static, singular product, but as a dynamic suite of elements that enables designers to use STRATA Beam’s compelling contrast and sculptural elegance as a foundation for their own ideas.

“Suddenly, just by adding the ability to connect, there become so many different ways to shape and define outdoor spaces,” says designer Jess Sorel. “Now you can turn a corner at 90 degrees, you can use the 45-degree connectors to create serpentine or zig-zag patterns, or you can make closed shapes to encircle a tree or accentuate a key feature.”

Sorel invokes the idea of “delight” as an inspiration for enabling STRATA Beam to move beyond rigid design to a place that is more fluid, freeing and open-ended. “I love the idea of delight—it’s that little feeling of ‘oooh’ you get from something when you perceive a level of play, investment, craftsmanship or thoughtfulness emanating from an object,” he says. “So I want to help people create giving objects—objects that are giving of themselves, giving of their stories, and intentionally communicative of these intangible aspects that designers are charged with managing.”

“So in the context of STRATA Beam, I began by thinking, ‘What happens when you start connecting these benches to create an object that moves throughout space or delineates space?’” Sorel continues. “I’m always fascinated by how you can use different elements in the outdoors to create the gestalt of space. If you have an area that previously didn’t have any definition, when you incorporate elements that are meandering throughout, suggesting or implying delineation, creating ’spaces within spaces,’ it can really change the way we experience a location in powerful ways. And that’s what this new vision for STRATA Beam is all about,” he concludes.

Published on March 31, 2022

Products by Maglin