This case study outlines the engineering design, fabrication and installation of a bespoke 7m hanging timber bench. Challenging constraints arose from the variety of thermally modified timber used in the bench’s construction. Summum Engineering engineered the bench, which was installed in Soldatenbos National Forest, Belgium in August 2021. It hangs from two silver maple trees with a view over an adjacent field. The Dutch practice RO&AD Architects provided the architectural design and intent, working for the municipality of Nijlen in Belgium, which acted as the client.
Swinging benches are commonly associated with North America. The longest multi-span swinging bench, located in Louisiana, USA, is 18.25m, with individual spans of around 3.6m. At 7.1m, it is thought by the authors that the bench presented in this article is the longest single-span swinging bench of its kind.