Happy Birthday to Toyo Ito’s Ripples Bench, Which is Now 20 Years Old!

Happy Birthday to Toyo Ito's Ripples Bench, Which has Turned 20 Years Old!

It’s a rarity that we get to celebrate a milestone for an item of furniture; however, 2023 is a very special year for the Ripples bench from the Japanese architect Toyo Ito for Horm, as it has turned twenty years old! In this celebratory feature, we look at its story and what inspired its creation.

The Ripples bench was originally conceived as a steel and stone art installation in Roppongi Hills, central Tokyo, designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The inspiration for the bench was born from the soft, delicate circles like waves that were propagating on the water’s surface.

In 2003 (twenty years ago), the architect met up with Horm. Following that meeting, Toyo Ito decided he wanted to give the bench a new lease of life, and he would do this by using five different kinds of wood: walnut, mahogany, cherry, oak and ash.

The wood varieties completely transformed the original, adding warmth and life. The new colours and materials created subtle nuances that emerged from the concave sanding of the multilayer wood.

A close up look at the super-smooth surface of the bench

The sculpted seats on the wooden Ripples bench were finished by hand, which produced an elegant polychrome effect, thanks to the wood’s ductility. The hand finishing is so precise that any transition between the various kinds of wood used is invisible to the touch.

Just one year later (2004), the Ripples bench was to receive the Compasso d’Oro ADI Award, the world’s oldest and most authoritative design prize. The Ripples bench is a true design icon and is an ideal showpiece for the home, commercial or public spaces and even a museum.

The bench in an ultra-modern living room

Over time, it has found its way into many living spaces and has inspired a collection that comprises a wide range of furnishing accessories such as tables, stools, outdoor seating, side tables, bedside tables and cupboards.

About Horm
Since 1989, Horm has been combining linearity, elegance and art to create home environments with aesthetic impact. The company adopts a “contemporary design” style where international influences coexist, reinterpreted by the culture, passion and craftsmanship of Made in Italy.

Horm’s creative philosophy is defined in the company’s vision: to furnish living spaces by creating emotions. The company is known for its ability to bring together elegant lines and elements, transforming environments and making them an emotional extension of those who live in them.

Casamania – Horm’s sister brand – makes seating, modular shelving and furniture accessories for hotels, bars, restaurants, common areas of buildings and homes.

The collection is strongly geared toward modern “Soft Contract” trends and integrates perfectly into high-end furniture projects where common areas for work and leisure are made to bring pleasure. It has an eclectic style, where everyday furniture, through cosmopolitan and avant-garde influences, produces an ironic and “pop” design, fitting today’s tastes.

Read more design news and features here.

The bench, placed indoors by a windowHappy Birthday to Toyo Ito's Ripples Bench, Which is Now 20 Years Old! 2

Editorial Team

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