public bench / contemporary / solid wood / metal
solid wood, metal
by George Nelson
Nelson Platform Bench
Equal parts seat and surface, the Nelson Platform Bench emerged from George Nelson’s Fortune magazine office to join his first Herman Miller Collection in 1946. Made with polished chrome or ebonized wood legs, and available in three lengths with a choice of finishes, it serves as a bench, low table, or foundation for the Basic Cabinet Series.
The platform bench was part of Nelson’s first collection for Herman Miller and was reintroduced in 1994. As presented in the 1948 Herman Miller furniture catalog, the platform bench “is primarily a high base for deep and shallow cases, but it also serves as a low table for extra seating.” The 1955 catalog states that the bench “has proved to be one of the most flexible and useful units in the collection.”
A landmark of modern design, the bench has the clean, rectilinear lines that reflect designer George Nelson’s architectural background and his insistence on what he called “honest” design—making an honest visual statement about an object’s purpose. Solid wood slats are spaced to let air and light through, sealed with a clear-coat finish, and finger-jointed for superior strength, all of which make the bench ideal for offices, public areas, and homes.