smarin x Super Nature present Hemp - Clay - Lime: Urban Seating

Exhibition / Installation

Partner Programme

18   —    26 Sep 2021

Architecture / Landscape

Coal Drops Yard

Viaduct Level, Coal Drops Yard




King’s Cross continues its exploration of material heroes with this commission of prototypes by smarin studio. ‘Hemp - Clay - Lime: Urban Seating’ is a presentation of research and development undertaken by the studio and constitutes the initial testing phase for a future large-scale outdoor seating scheme.

smarin studio design efficient furniture, focusing on flexible spaces designed for all types of users, composed of minimal materials that are removable, storable, and finally recyclable. Hemp - Clay - Lime: Urban Seating is a presentation of prototypes for a future large-scale public realm seating scheme. Hexagon-shaped, the modular seating design mimics the efficiencies found everywhere in nature - honeycomb, fruit skins, dragonfly eyes - to make strong, solid structures that provide infinite options for placement. Materially, the core is made from hemp shiv, a waste product from the hemp fibre industry, and hydrated lime. The outer layer is a fibrous lime plaster, coloured with clay. These are not new techniques. The Ancient Romans used hydraulic lime and added natural components to ensure the hardening of plaster in wet or cold conditions, many examples of which still exist today. Both hemp and lime are incredibly hard-wearing, resilient, and naturally derived materials; they are also considered to be carbon negative, as they capture more carbon than it takes to produce and transport them.