Back in 2001, after more than two decades of experience in the design and production of furniture for large projects, we launched our most international product, AERO bench, which has currently an international presence.
Starting a new century meant also a significant change for the Company, at SELLEX, we wanted to evolve and improve our furniture collection. We keenly worked in the creation of a new bench which would be provided with the essencial features of an industrial piece (strength, durability, versatility, and so on...) but based on two main ideas: elegance and visually light. We did not want a bench with an austere aesthetic, and eventually it was the argentine architect, Alberto Lievore, from Lievore Altherr Molina Studio in Barcelona, who was able to capture and create what we had ideally imagined.
Many months of hard work and many sketches afterwards, AERO bench was born, an extruded aluminium Shell, bench shaped and very light looking. Two slender legs were designed to support the shell on to the floor, although an option to be wall hanging was forseen too. It was a beautiful piece but a versatile one as well, just what we were looking for.
The bench was produced in several sizes, ready to allocate from 2 to 7 people, and even the longest version of four meters and a half needs only two legs to support the weight of the bench profile plus the people sitting on it. Besides, the aluminium profile has an extruded surface to avoid slipping off.
Naming it AERO was not by chance. It was called like that because when you see it displayed at any environment, it gives the impression of being flying, like floating over the floor. So we thought that this greek word was fine.
Its curves bring to our mind a plane's wing and it happens to be airports where the bench was firstly installed, followed by railway stations, bus stations and port passenger terminals. Time and experience has shown us that AERO bench fits well everywhere. We can find it beautifully furnishing all kind of spaces, at libraries, universities and museums. As well as at the headquarters of multinational corporations, congress halls, court houses or shopping centers, even at hospitals and funeral homes.
AERO was introduced for the very first time at International Furniture Fair (FIM) in Valence 2001 where it won the First Prize Competition. The same happened at Spectrum in London 2002 and afterwards other important prizes came like the Gold Award of ADI FAD in Barcelona 2003, Best of Competition and Gold Award 2003 at Neocon in Chicago and IF Gold Award 2004 in Hannover.
AERO, an international bench
Nowadays, 15 years later, AERO ‘floats' at roundabout a thousand of installations spread all over the world. Some of these references have been projected by the most prestigious architects ofour century as Sir Norman Foster (London City Hall), Herzog & De Meuron (Blau Museum in Barcelona), Arata Isozaki (Qatar National Convention Center in Doha) or Dominique Perrault signing the ‘Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie' in París. Designers like Mariscal gave his approval to place AERO bench conbining with the rest of its designs at Hotel Domine in Bilbao. Rafael Moneo also authorized the installation of the bench in the outdoors terrace of Kursaal Congress Center in San Sebastian.
Up to 2016, and coincident with its 15th anniversary, over 100.000 seaters of the bench have been sold around the world, which is equivalent to have 62km of the bench surrounding Manhattan island in New York.
Needless to say that AERO bench has become an icon of the industrial design in the Contract market.