You are probably familiar with the classic Lutyens bench design, but you probably don’t realize how familiar you already are with the man behind the bench, Edwin Lutyens. Lutyens was an English architect around the turn of the century, and he’s sometimes referred to as the greatest British architect ever. Not surprisingly, Lutyens’ two most famous influences on design come together in his bench.
Lutyens designed a significant portion of the Indian city of New Delhi. Over 20 years, he worked to design the new seat of the Indian government, working on projects from monuments to villas. While he worked mostly in his own interpretation of a Classical style heavy with columns, the flared shapes along the back of the Lutyens bench would indicate that the architecture of the area had an influence on him, as well.
In England, Lutyens paired with Gertrude Jekyll to work in English gardens. If you are familiar with the typical “English garden” aesthetic, you have this partnership to thank. Previously, gardens in England were much more rigid and formal with well-defined flower beds. The lush organic English garden, overflowing with lavender and brick pathways, did not gain popularity until Lutyens and Jekyll started designing gardens.
Again, formal and informal approaches to the garden can be seen in the bench’s design. The lines are clean and simple, while the curved arms call to mind a sofa in a formal drawing room. The bench itself seems perfectly suited to Lutyens’ vision of a soft, organic garden that lends itself well to relaxation. Lutyens was actually never recognized or celebrated as a designer of furniture. Instead, his drawings or pieces from specific garden projects have been carefully recorded for reissuing. In fact, while there are many companies that now make benches in this style, including yours truly, the Lutyens family still manufactures this and other furniture from Lutyens’ designs.
Today, the Lutyens bench is a popular design that comes in many variations. However, only a bench with the curved arms and distinctive arched back design are true to Lutyens’ original vision. Changes to the style give this bench more versatility, but they may also reduce its structural integrity. With so many so-called Lutyens benches on the market today, it is important to be able to identify a high-quality bench which is exactly what you get when you buy from Teak Warehouse.