T4EU logo


Urban furniture in T4EU shape

University of Primorska, Slovenia


As part of T4EU Week, InnoRenew CoE, in collaboration with the University of Primorska, has created wooden urban furniture in the shape of the letters T4EU. The furniture is designed as a combination of wooden benches and solid wood tables. It invites people to socialise outdoors and puts users in direct contact with wood. It was proven that wood reduces stress levels in the built environment, which certainly has a positive effect on the users’ well-being.

The furniture was designed by Aarne Niemelä and Eva Prelovšek Niemelä, InnoRenew CoE architects and researchers, together with Jakub Sandak, PhD, the Head of the research department – Advanced Manufacturing. It was designed to be as large as possible in space, serving as a clearly visible spatial sign or artwork. Yet the furniture’s individual slats are spread apart, both vertically and horizontally, to allow for maximum ventilation within the elements, allowing the wood to last longer outside.

The wood for the objects of this scientific-artistic-social intervention in urban space was obtained in the project DENDRO-SPEC: Spectroscopic methods for rapid phenotyping of trees reflecting their ecological resilience.

It is made of pine trees (Pinus sylvestris) growing in different sites around Slovenia (Ptuj, Kočevje, Naklo). The sites and the trees were described in detail and imaged using 3D scanning. The hereditary material (DNA) of each tree was extracted and sequenced. The wood was also measured for physical (mechanical) and chemical properties and imaged using several spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, NIR, Raman) to obtain information on its colour and other surface properties. This is to find out how site conditions (soil composition, microclimate, topography, etc.) influence the epigenetic, mechanical, chemical and other properties of the trees and the wood they produce. On a practical level, this means that we can tell a story of each and every piece of the wood – where it comes from, how it grew in the tree, how it can be processed and treated, and the function it serves in the object. Additionally, with this knowledge, we can give the industry tools needed to get exactly the kind of raw material it needs for a particular purpose.