Perplex Bench has won 2 2017 European Product Design Awards – Gold in Material Design and Manufacturing and Gold in Outdoor and Exercise Equipment/Patio/Garden Furniture and Accessories.
The bench is 14’ (4.25m) Long, 3” (75mm) thick. It is a composite structure of 2 hollow steel boxes cast in ductal, a high performance concrete with a beautiful surface finish. This singular element is supported with 2 cast aluminum legs available either painted or polished.
The bench is the result of exploring 2 distinct objectives: 1) to create a bench that is impossibly long and impossibly thin; and 2) to explore the potential of a new technology for treating surfaces of metal in creating new composite materials.
The means to achieve this bench came through the development of GripMetal technology cast into concrete. The metal used in the bench’s core, is a consistently shaped field of hooks formed onto ultra-thin gauge metal surfaces. Like a metallic Velcro, it can be pressed, moulded, or cast to create a bond that is mechanical and continuous, strengthening hundreds of times per inch. In this case, 2 boxes were constructed and cast into the bench form.
The result is a 14’ (4.25m) long bench. It invites use in a variety of ways. It’s scale allows for different groups of people to gather, but gather separately. It showcases this new technology and creates a sculptural furniture piece for use in commercial, hospitality and residential spaces.
“We have always been compelled to create as long a bench as we can, not only as a sculptural exercise, but as a functional one – strangers don’t want to be too close to each other, and if they’re not strangers, why not get everyone on one bench?” Lee Fletcher.