Karl-Friedrich Schinkel

A classicist garden bench

Schinkel’s garden bench, originally pro­duced in the (state-owned) royal iron foundry in Berlin, was a product of an industry which was developing rapidly thanks to the steam engine, an early mass-produced item made from a few parts and without a restriction in numbers: its function was to add to relaxation in gardens and parks, respite which the people who made the bench were initially able to enjoy only rarely, if at all. In formal terms, the side parts, with their centrally connected curved segments, point to an item of furniture which was designed almost a century later, the re-edition of which can now be found in many living rooms and apartments: the chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1928 for the German Pavilion at the World Fair in Barcelon.

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