High-use spaces like campus atriums, public libraries, and corporate lobbies beg for ample open seating. These new benching systems fit the bill with modular and sectional units that can be remixed as the space's needs change. Plus, with creative geometries, bold colorways, and versatile materials, these seats work doubly to amplify aesthetics.
Designed by Don Chadwick for Herman Miller in 1974, this sectional seating system was re-launched this spring after a decade-long hiatus from production. Comprising five modules—a straight unit with parallel sides and two types of inward- and outward-facing wedges—the Chadwick Modular can be used as seats and sofas as well as a large-scale bench solution. Its signature molded, sculptural form features soft edges and tailored upholstery.
Doubling as a bench and low table, Dutch designer Wout Speyers’ contemporary seating solution gets its minimalist inspiration from midcentury design. Offered in 20”, 40”, and 60” lengths as well as 45-degree and 90-degree corner units, Cheval’s ash-wood frame can be upholstered in part or in full to differentiate seating and table space. Polished aluminum legs add subtle contrast while rounding out the modern bench. Seat height is 17-1/2” without upholstery and 18-1/4” with upholstery.
As evidenced by its name and shape, this system of interconnecting benches and tables references the behavior of molecules as they join to form chemical compounds. Designed by Austrian studio EOOS, Chemistry’s centerpiece is a 16-3/4”-tall, V-shaped bench supported by a wire frame and base plate. Three tables—square, rectangle, and trapezoid—connect to the seating modules, allowing the chain to take on new forms as it grows.
The Ditto modular seating range draws on the form of a classic lounge with module options including left arm, right arm, and armless seating, as well as ottomans and connector tables. From Thonet’s Moss portfolio, the mid-market seating solution is intended for education and corporate spaces and includes integrated power and USB sources. The system has a seat height of 17” and comes in 10 wood-grain finishes and with metal legs.
Tre Bench, Davis
Joining the popular stool of the same name, the Tre Bench from Stuttgart, Germany–based studio Jehs+Laub features a bent-plywood, hexagonal frame in natural oak, medium oak, gray oak, and brown oak finishes, or a white laminate, with optional upholstery. Measuring 16-7/8 tall, the low bench features three identical shells attached with a plywood plate and can be clustered or used solo.
Nova C, Green Furniture Concept
The molded wood ribs on this winding bench from Swedish furniture maker Green Furniture Concept use low-emission glue and VOC-free hardwax oil. Offered in straight or curved 1m lengths, the Nova C (shown, left) has a sitting height of 460mm (approximately 18”). It is offered in birch, dark oak, charcoal, and mixed wood finishes with a black, steel base and optional arm rest. An added bonus: A new tree is planted by the company for use creating its products for every meter of bench sold.