contemporary garden benches


A unique bench has the ability to transform any garden corner into a personal statement of contemporary design. Most of the garden benches we design are built-in forming an integral part of the garden. We always intend for the benches to be warm, inviting, architectural and comfortable. More often than not they tend to serve multiple functions such as a day bed, storage or as lighting features. Designing a bench is always fun, providing a platform to experiment with new detailing, new materials and 3-D modelling. At times, fresh concepts in the garden influence the seating ideas. Conversely, a single sparkle when formulating a new bench can expand into broader concepts in the garden design.

1. Lit up 2. Cantilevered 3. Semi-cantilevered 4. Solid & floating 5. Concrete 6. Glass 7. Steel 8. Curved daybed 9. Steel & wood 10. Curved & long

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  1. LIT UP.

This design for this bench was inspired by the shape of an indoor fire place the clients had in their new living room extension. We wanted to reiterate this shape in the garden. By using concrete lintels we cantilevered the seat of the bench over the supporting columns. By adding cobbles at the bottom, rendering and painting the front elevation dark purple and adding lights in the cavity, the bench transformed into something else Ė a sculpture or a light feature. The ipe hardwood is gentle to seat on whilst giving contrasting warmth to the surrounding stone.

contemporary garden bench lit up

Regent's Park garden


The shape of this bench follows the angular pattern of the sandstone patio. Stretching the full width of the garden it helps in making this small space stretch further. A steel frame was built into the raised bedís concrete walls and balau hardwood cladding was added as a seat. This configuration creates depth as a deep shadow forms in the cavity moving with the sunís arc during the day - while at night, lighting makes the bench appear floating. It feels comfortable to cross your legs under the bench while the low wall behind serves as an arm rest.

contemporary garden bench cantilevered

Primrose Hill patio garden


This simple yet effective balau hardwood bench forms an L-shape pattern by a water feature. Support for most of the structure is built into the raised beds behind, while the 2 end legs are supporting to the ground. Cladding the legs in hardwood on both sides displays the material well, while lighting becomes a major feature highlighting the cavity in the evening.

contemporary garden bench semi-cantilevered

Fulham small garden


A beautiful solid piece of iroko hardwood 80mm thick and 500mm deep forms the seat for this cantilevered bench. The long piece was cut into 3 sections to be able to create 2 ninety degree turns. We wanted the bench to be completely cantilevered with no visible fixings and so we drilled holes at the back of the wood sections and dressed them onto metal posts which were built into the raised bed walls.

contemporary garden bench solid and floating  

Kensington small garden


The design of this bench is part of the architectural language of the garden using sturdy elevations of concrete and render. This large L-shaped bench serves the socialising area in amongst some lush planting. The position itself gives a view of the entire space framed through the pendulous branches of an overhanging Willow tree.

contemporary garden bench concrete

Wandsworth garden

  6. GLASS.

The position of these 2 benches occupies the centre of a Mediterranean courtyard where once a large tree had been growing. Both their position and orientation gives a subtle Ying & Yang feel to the space with a soft Western red cedar seat cladding. The front elevations of the benches are punctuated with square blue glass blocks. The blue colour repeats the blue walls of the courtyard and contrast with other yellow-ochre tones. We detailed the cedar seats so that they can be removed for maintenance of the lights. The low voltage lighting creates subtle reflections through the glass blocks at night.

contemporary garden bench glass

Islington courtyard garden

  7. STEEL.

Having retained all of the existing plants in this courtyard, the design took a linear direction as the surfaces woven through the space needed to avoid the trunks of the palm trees. In order to contrast these angular lines and embrace the mature trunk of the New Zealand palm we designed an S-shape curved steel bench. The 10mm profile of the steel is enough to support weight and gives a very slim appearance ,while the support legs are perforated through to appear light. We powder coated the whole structure and matched the colour to a pair of bespoke curved vases to create further continuity. Lighting underneath is discreet as the LED thin tape is fixed to the underside of the seat.

contemporary garden bench steel

Highbury garden


We introduced a few gentle curves in this garden to move the eye across the various spaces Ė some of which were seen from the house and some hidden such as a tropical spa area at the back. Located at the centre left of the garden, we wanted the bench to be big enough for a large group of people on the artificial grass beside it. Being deep, curved and at an angle the seat provides enough space to lie on as a daybed. The shadow detail under the balau cladding and the large floating detail at the bottom help in articulating a graceful curve.

contemporary garden bench curved daybed

Clapham garden  

  9. STEEL & WOOD.

In this roof terrace the design of the bench was directly drawn from of a beautiful Belgian stone dining table with stainless steel legs. We replicated the dimensions and detailing of the legs into the bench, while the angular pattern corresponds with the paving design on the terrace. The cladding was detailed with chunky iroko coping, which was also featured on top of the planting raised beds.

contemporary garden bench steel and wood

Kings Chelsea roof terrace


This large roof garden follows a gentle long curve on the front of the building which in turn was echoed further with a built-in wooden bench. There were beautiful views to the park nearby and so we needed an area to sit people comfortably to be immersed in this landscape view. The bench is part of a larger structure of a raised planting bed and culminates on one end with a water feature and pool. With the bench situated in a sunny part of the roof garden, it was designed quite deep and when the opportunity arises can be used as a daybed.

contemporary garden bench curved and long

Battersea roof garden

There is a bench design in nearly every garden and terrace we create and we remain fascinated with the possibilities, expressions and ergonomics of this gravity defying object of beauty. In certain intimate situations, a garden bench detailed with plants and lighting forms a miniature garden in its own right.

amir   Written, photographed (unless indicated) and posted by Amir Schlezinger.

contemporary garden bench

Regent's Park garden

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