ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nelson Platform Bench - The Ideal Slat Bench

Updated on January 25, 2011

The Slat Bench

Created by George Nelson, an architect who focused on graphic, product and interior design, the "Nelson Platform Bench" is an enduring icon of modern design. Also known as the Nelson Slat Bench, this piece of furniture was originally introduced in the Herman Miller catalog in 1946 and is still available today (reintroduced in 1994). It is a timeless piece that is as functional as it is beautiful. Versatile, attractive and strong, the bench is multi-purpose and can be used as an accent piece, a platform or for seating.  Common uses include using the slat bench as a seating bench, coffee table, and as a platform for displaying things such as plants, art work, stereos, etc. Easily identifiable by its clean, and simple lines, this striking piece of furniture can be seen in living rooms, office spaces, libraries and banks around the world. It has become one of the most 'collectible' furniture pieces from the 20th century and has become a benchmark of modern design. A 1955 Herman Miller catalog describes the bench as "one of the most flexible and useful units in the collection." This statement still holds true today.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A used Nelson bench, selling for $600.  Real benches will have a stamp of authenticity on itTwo Nelson Benches make a nice coffee table Source: Herman Miller
A used Nelson bench, selling for $600.  Real benches will have a stamp of authenticity on it
A used Nelson bench, selling for $600. Real benches will have a stamp of authenticity on it
Two Nelson Benches make a nice coffee table Source: Herman Miller
Two Nelson Benches make a nice coffee table Source: Herman Miller

The Design

The deliberate, smooth and rectilinear lines of the bench reflects Nelson's architectural background and approach to design, providing functional minimlaism and conveying visible purpose. The two black U-shaped legs are aesthetically contrasted with its solid natural wood slats. The 'simple' design is elegant and practical. The Nelson Bench comes in three sizes: 48 in, 60 in, 72 in length. All three sizes are 14 inches high and 18.5 Inches deep. The twelve slats that comprise the top of the bench are hard maple and the base is ebonized maple wood.  Mounted under the base are 4 metal glides. Offered in a natural maple or black painted top, the twelve slats are spaced to allow air and light through. The bench's finger-joint base design provides strength and smooth construction.


The Nelson Bench

Click thumbnail to view full-size
source: Herman Millersource: Herman Miller
source: Herman Miller
source: Herman Miller
source: Herman Miller
source: Herman Miller

Nelson Benches

Click thumbnail to view full-size
the 6 ft. Nelson Bench has two cross struts on the top [source DWR]the 4 ft. and 5 ft. Nelson Benches both have just one cross strut on the top [source DWR]
the 6 ft. Nelson Bench has two cross struts on the top [source DWR]
the 6 ft. Nelson Bench has two cross struts on the top [source DWR]
the 4 ft. and 5 ft. Nelson Benches both have just one cross strut on the top [source DWR]
the 4 ft. and 5 ft. Nelson Benches both have just one cross strut on the top [source DWR]

Spotting Fakes

Much like the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, the Nelson Bench is one of the most collectible modern design furniture pieces from the 20th century. It is offered through Herman Miller and each piece comes with proof of authenticity. You can purchase the bench from upscale retailers like Design Within Reach.  Like the eames chair, there are many unauthorized reproductions and 'fake' versions of the collectible Nelson Bench. However, it is much harder to identify unofficial versions of the Nelson Bench.  A quick test is to count the number of slats to make sure there are 12 of them and to measure the dimension of the bench to check that they match with the officially released version's. The 6ft Nelson Bench has two cross struts on the top, while the 4 and 5 foot benches both only have just one cross-strut.  Many cheaper imposters lack the clear-coat finish on the top slats and are not assembled with the finger-joint base design.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Iris Lebow profile image

      Iris Lebow 

      8 years ago

      Great information! I didn't even know an authentic version was still made today. Loved your hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)