A B_tween Bench, which is a wheelchair inclusive bench, was unveiled by the Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP. The B-tween Bench was designed by local company Gamma Architects and the design took third place at the Street Seats international design challenge in 2018
This B_tween Bench was purchased by the Department of Equality and is the first one presented to the people of Gibraltar by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and is located opposite the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned. Minister Sacramento was joined by representatives of Gamma Architects, the designers of the bench and Benji Borrastero who was a consultant during the design of it.
On the 5th March another bench was jointly unveiled by one of the sponsors of the project and the Minister for Equality and is located outside the International Commercial Centre (I.C.C). The Department of Equality and the I.C.C. were two of the sponsors of this design at the competition stage.
The Minister for Equality has arranged for Government to purchase further benches, which are being installed throughout Gibraltar.
Ruth Massias Greenberg, Director at Gamma Architects, said: ““We are thrilled that our Government of Gibraltar has decided to install the inclusive Gamma B_tween Bench in such a prominent position in Main Street. We hope that it will positively impact the lives of those with disabilities who live within our community – but as we have stated previously we feel that the positive impact is in both directions – both for the disabled person and anyone else sitting on the bench around them. The bench embraces those who may sometimes sit on the margins of society – we no longer want people to be on the side but rather in our epicentres – the bench is an expression of this. We believe that it is not people who are disabled but rather buildings and places that are not equipped or inclusively designed to be able to accommodate.”
The Minister for Equality, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento, MP, said: “It is very exciting to see more B_tween Benches appearing around our Rock. These benches will not only make wheelchair users, as well as mobility scooter users, feel more included when sitting on the benches, but they will serve as a physical symbol of the efforts and strides made by the people of Gibraltar to make our public areas more inclusive. It is also worth reminding that a wheelchair user was fully consulted during the design stages of this project. This highlights the importance of consultation in any project. I am sure that these new benches will be warmly accepted by the people of Gibraltar. We really look forward to seeing more of these benches across Gibraltar.”