City Sheriff unveils Portland Stone bench on Cheapside – see video

The video above shows Alderman Jeffrey Evans, Sheriff of the City of London, unveiling a new Grove Whitbed Portland limestone bench, designed by architectural students Chris Dove and Craig Mitchell and made by young masons of stone company CWO in Chichester, led by Sam Elgar and Ed Shaw, working with the student architects.

This is the third bench to have been installed in the City of London as the result of a competition run by the Corporation of London in conjunction with the Masons' Livery Company. The first was unveiled five years ago. Each time, the Corporation, the Masons' Livery Company, Albion Stone, who mine and quarry the Portland limestone, and masonry company CWO, have been involved.

The aim of the Award is to encourage student architects to think about stone. The winners visit the quarry to see the stone being extracted and work with the masons on the execution and installation of their winning design.

After the unveiling on 24 October the two students, who were at Liverpool John Moores University when they entered the competition, gave an excellent presentation in nearby Wax Chandlers Hall about the design, making and fixing of the bench. Chris Dove said: "You come to site and actually see the hole in the ground… the foundations… and it's actually happening. For a student of architecture to go from a sketch, a range of nice little photographs, to something that's actually live… it's something we're immensly proud of and thankful for the whole competition for enabling us to do it."

He said it had been educational to see the stone being extracted and worked and had made him think about the "materiality" of stone, "which is something that, as architects, you feel disconnected from – the material side of things".