The very first retail park lifestyle centre in France opened north of Amiens last October offering a mix of retail, recreation and food in an urban setting. Shopping Promenade Coeur de Picardie covers 40,000 m² and is the largest retail park in Picardy. It represents an investment of 50 million euros and has created 400 jobs.
On the recommendation of Parisian branding agency Brainjuice Studio, developer FREY opted for Streetlife's Drifter Benches for this new large-scale development. The benches are made from 100% reclaimed FSC® basralocus wood, a tropical hardwood, which is now beginning a second life in luxurious surroundings: the massive beams are former mooring posts recovered from Dutch water infrastructure. These beams have been mounted on CorTen steel supports to create sturdy benches with a distinctive rustic look.
Robust and with a unique history, the benches are in perfect harmony with the scale of this outdoor shopping centre and the rugged urban environment with its graffiti and mature vegetation. Streetlife delivered and installed in record time 46 Drifter benches of different lengths (1 metre, 1.2 metres and 2 metres), jointly weighing some 12,000 kilos.
Travelling in comfort
The BHNS (Bus à Haut Niveau de Service) plan by Amiens Métropole is a municipal initiative to innovatively upgrade local bus transport and improve connections between outer districts and the city centre. The new 18-metre-long buses, dubbed Nemo, are fully electric and have a futuristic design. Large windows afford unobstructed views, with USB ports and a quiet motor helping to ensure a high-quality, comfortable travel experience.
The city’s bus stops have also been redesigned for the future. In 2017, a pilot scheme was set up in the city centre comprising a touch screen system to provide passengers with real-time information on bus schedules and travel times. In addition, the system offers passers-by details about interesting highlights in the vicinity of the bus shelter. For seating furniture, Streetlife's Solitude Benches were selected.
The infrastructural design for the BHNS was devised by Lyon agency Ilex (Paysage & Urbanisme), which successfully integrated the Streetlife benches into the plan. On behalf of the municipality, the project was supervised by Céline Roche.
The Solitude Benches have a refined, streamlined appearance and the comfortable high backrests have been mounted decentralised to give the benches an attractive dynamic. The bench supports have been treated with the special multi-coloured coating Two Tone CorTen, which gives the steel frame the warm look of CorTen steel while guaranteeing colour fastness and preventing staining.
This extensive project has improved the overall travel experience in the city, including the route planning. The contemporary bus stops even give rise to new squares designed to serve as high-quality public spaces. The project went ahead after a pilot phase and once the seating furniture was approved, some 329 benches were delivered in three stages to Amiens. The last bench was installed in January 2019.
As a result of this fruitful collaboration, the adjacent town of Longueau has also ordered the Solitude Benches, thereby further upgrading the quality of the regional transport network.