Introduced in 1946, the Nelson platform bench remains a landmark of modern design. The clean, rectilinear lines 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. The bench serves as a multipurpose display and resting place in offices, public areas, and homes.
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What's In It For You
More than a Bench
The platform bench is whatever you need it to be. A bench, for seating. A platform, for displaying objects, plants, your MP3 dock. A low table, for magazines, books, a bowl of fruit. Place two together to make a coffee table.
Strong Enough to Hold You
Or whatever you want it to hold. The bench is made of solid maple slats, which are spaced to let air and light through, and sealed with a clear-coat finish. The legs are ebonized and finger-jointed for superior strength.
The bench is 14 inches tall and 18-1/2 inches deep and available in three widths—48, 60, and 72 inches.
George Nelson was a noted teacher and writer, as well as a designer. He studied architecture in Rome and became an editor of Architectural Forum while continuing to design furniture, based on the modern European designs with which he had become familiar.
His association with Herman Miller began when our founder, D.J. De Pree, saw an article in Life magazine about Nelson's Storagewall, the first modular storage system and a forerunner of systems furniture. De Pree was so impressed that he went to New York to meet with Nelson and convinced him to be his director of design.
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."