A few years ago while walking along the Missouri River Front Trail I discovered a series of benches from Landscape Forms. Ever since then I have been a huge fan of their design work for both public and private spaces. This afternoon I had an email in my inbox for one of their newest designs, “Olithas“.
Designed by Efrain E. Velez, the Olithas table and bench seating combines a geometric tubular steel base to thin MeldStone surfaces that seem to float above the support structure. The underside of the seats and the table surface are fluted forming a slight wave pattern that adds a visual texture contrasting the smooth primary surfaces. The frames are available in 23 colors including polished stainless steel. The Meldstone surfaces are available in 4 neutral colors featuring an “as-cast” finish or a polished surface depending on your choice of base.
A winner of the 2013 Red Dot Award, Olithas is another example of Landscape Forms commitment to high quality functional design. If you are curious about the name, it is a combination of two words. One Greek, and one Spanish. Lithos is Greek for stone, and Olita is Spanish for tiny wave. Both words describe the primary surfaces of Olithas.
One of the things you discover when you start using a riding lawn mower is, you need to put a lot of mulch around your trees. A 18 inch turning radius means a 36 inch circle , which isn’t a close cut around most tree trunks. Eventually I’ll probably landscape around most of them, but it doesn’t stop me from really wanting to install Roman Vrtiška’s Sinus benches around most of them.
This is such a simple and elegant solution to the problem. The bench provides ample seating to take advantage of the shade. There is venting to allow for irrigation, and the opening is large enough to fit around even mature trees. The look is so clean, simple and flexible, and the pieces are modular so the can be combined with the linear benches to create longer ovals as well.
The bench is formed from a perforated sheet steel that has been powder coated to resist even the toughest weather mother nature can trow at them. The modular plates can be combined to create single seat, double seat, or seat-less systems. These are available through mmcite, but since I don’t speak Czech I have no idea about what they cost or where you can buy them.
As 2010 winds down I got to thinking about all the great design work that I saw and posted about this year. One of my blog posts that generated some of the highest traffic this year was “Some of the Best of Design For 2009“. Because of the popularity of that article, I have decided to post a best of for 2010 made up from design content that got the most traffic over the last 365 days. I have included everything from industrial design to motion graphics, and I have tried to limit it to less than 20 items.
Each item is shown below in no particular order. They are all within 3 or 4 total views of each other. Below each image or video is a link to the original article, so you can read the original posts if you want. I know that not writing a summary about each item is kind of a cop-out, but it’s been a long year and my fingers are tired of typing. So if you want to know more, you’ll have to click-through to the original.
Today while I was out walking on the river trail by the Missouri River in Kansas City, I came across this amazing bench from LandscapeForms out of Kalamzoo Michigan. The “Rest” Bench, is available with or without a back, in combinations of wood and aluminum, as well as solid aluminum. This stunningly simple bench uses a mobius ribbon frame in a flowing form to create a singular bench in backed and backless versions. The graceful connection between frame and bench slats makes it look so elegant, and show off such a pure geometric form.
The bench was designed by designed by BMW Group DesignWorks USA for LandscapeForms. Designed to be functional as well as beautiful, the bench is fabricated from powder coated aluminum, and teak wood for heavy usage, and outdoor durability. The bench supports loads of up to 750 pounds, and is temperature tolerant to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cost of the bench runs approximately $ 1160 to $ 2120 plus shipping and handling depending on materials and configurations. And from what I can tell, it looks as though they sell to people within the design trade and not to the public, although I could be mistaken about this.
“Landscape Forms believes in the power of design and its ability to influence and elevate the quality of public space. High quality products and outstanding customer experience make Landscape Forms one of the world’s premier designers and manufacturers of outdoor commercial furnishings.”