In large healthcare facilities, hospital benches are a practical solution to furnishing waiting rooms and various social spaces intended for the visitors, patients and staff alike. Comfort, durability and hygiene are of great importance, and today’s manufacturers and designers easily merge these practical concerns with aesthetic ones.
‘Pato bench’, designed by Gudmundur Ludvik and Hee Welling for Fredericia Furniture, mounts a series of ergonomically moulded seating shells on a steel beam and is also available with upholstered seats and armrests for added comfort. The beam configuration is a recurring motif in many hospital benches, with Porsche Design Studio’s ‘8044/5’, a sleek design with a polished metal base that incorporates side tables and Jørgen Kastholm’s ‘7033/5 Terminal’, which combines a more organic, tapering support structure with a padded seat and a moulded plywood backrest. Both hospital benches are produced by Kusch+Co.
Also by Kusch+Co, the ‘7323/5 Terminal’ hospital bench is a comfortably upholstered, oval seating island that can be placed freely in any space. Sam Sannia’s ‘Goofy’ hospital bench for TON is an angular, upholstered design with oversized headrests and optional acoustic panels, and its modularity means it can be specified to fit any imaginable situation. Also manufactured by TON, René Šulc’s ‘Symposio bench’ combines a curved plywood seat with a wooden base, and can be ordered as a single seat module, or with additional corner elements to facilitate the system’s expansion.
Jan Wickelgren’s ‘Vågen’ hospital bench for Mitab combines a folding plywood seat and a metal mechanism, and can be used as auxiliary seating attached to the wall in corridors, stairways or lifts. Lastly, ‘Shira bench’, designed by Steffen Kaz and Catharina Lorenz for Bedont, as well as Frederik Torsteinsen’s ‘Modus bench’ for Helland are simple benches without backrests. The former is a more austere affair, with a plywood seat set neatly into the wooden structure, while the latter leaves upholstery in plain sight, while its supporting base elements are elongated to form armrests at either of the hospital bench’s ends.