According to historical information on the bench or ‘form’ this style of seating was common in dining halls, school classrooms, law courts and more for over hundreds and thousands of years. In her observations on the ‘Seating and sitting in the V&A’ Tillie Baker observes that bench seating in the grand entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum plays a crucial role for this space and was specifically selected by designers to allow for ease of movement. She obverses that the bench seats allow for both “sitting and circulation” forming a flexible seating option for visitors. According to a study conducted on waiting area seating by the NHS trust in Wales, key traits for seating in waiting and reception areas includes the need to allow a good flow of people, whilst offering views both across the room to the reception desk and the entrances and exits. Here we have a look at a choice of four bench-sofas that present modern alternatives to this classic public seating option, each one ideal for various styles and requirements.
The high contract grade option: 213 Bench Sofa >>
Designer Stefen Schöning presents the 213 bench sofa, which on first account appears as a very classical style of public area seating, but the refined details of the 213 brings it to touch for high capacity spaces. The 213 bench sofa offers enhanced durability with a steel frame connecting the seats, with the option to fix the bench sofa into the ground for added security. The seats are made from solid plywood and come with a distinctive selection of backrest heights. In order to accommodate different users, this elemental feature gives the 213 a somewhat landscaped personality, with three varying heights to choose from. The seats can be finished with upholstery available in three choices; leather, faux leather and fabric and a choice of over 100 colours to really bring the look of the space to light. Introduce the 213 into large open public spaces, healthcare waiting rooms, and generally interiors that see excessive use.
The contemporary Swedish option: Reform modular sofa >>
Merging together unconventional ideas with innovative and stylish design, Stockholm based designer Alexander Lervik presents a defined quality in each of his products, forming a congenial relationship between it and the user. The Reform bench sofa is a good example of how a piece of furniture becomes an extension of the designer’s creative outputs. The Reform sofa, although a bench style seat, it comes in a modular form to allow the flexibility to incorporate the sofa into various spaces. By changing the shapes and configurations, the function changes with it to allow for application in a multitude of spaces from workplace, public and educational. Each 60 cm unit can be configured individually and joined in as many units as required, with an armrest attached on each unit. The selection of over 60 colours in each of the upholstery choices adds further customisation for a specific look. The antibacterial faux leather choice is also great for medical applications. For spaces that require high design appeal without compromising on function, the Reform is the ideal bench sofa choice.
The compact option: Modular bench sofa >>
When working with spatial restrictions, it becomes crucial the selection of furniture products is not compromising on other factors, such as quality and aesthetic appeal. The Modular Sofa range has been designed with these very implications in mind; to offer a product with multiple solutions. Each modular element can be configured with a choice of options from the style of the base legs to the material finish. A bench sofa variation can be created with the use of straight seat units that begin at 80 cm widths each, with the choice of high or low backs and armrests. With such a multitude of options and high durability finish, the Modular Sofa range remains well priced for budget sensitive projects.
The well equipped option: Plural bench sofa >>
Interactivity and staying connected are highly progressive traits of remaining flexible where ever people go, so to support this evolving dynamic of tech tools, various designers have recognised the role modern furniture can play in keeping people connected. Designer Jorge Pensi recognises the changes that are constantly taking place in order to form products that grasp new innovations, yet remain timeless in their aesthetic appeal. The Plural bench sofa has been designed to offer unassuming strength and support, becoming an essential part of the interior space seamlessly. A fire resistance polypropylene shell and top rests on a die-cast aluminium base frame that gives the seat a fluid appearance. The detail that really brings this bench sofa to touch is the option of integrating a USB port into the seat, allowing users to stay connected between tasks. Along with a choice of fabric seat options, the elemental design of the Plural bench sofa is based on creating a stylish, minimalist yet highly durable seating option within public, educational and medial spaces.