Established in 1984, Benchmark came about when the then-recent graduate of Parnham College for Furniture Makers Sean Sutcliffe met Sir Terence Conran and they immediately stuck up a firm friendship. Following Sutcliffe’s eye-opening travels to Denmark, the pair bonded over a shared passion from making, wood, design and sustainability, Conran made space for the company’s showroom and workshop in the outhouses and grounds of his Berkshire-based country estate Barton Manor.
Since then, the company has grown from its three original employees to a team of 70 and has subsequently collaborated with some of the world’s most iconic architects and designers on commercial projects all over the world. In addition to this, Benchmark is proud commissioners of many museums and public buildings up and down the country plus many iconic British institutions including Westminster Abbey and several Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Each project defined Benchmark’s sensitivity for design, exquisite craftsmanship and functional yet beautiful longevity.
As one of the first furniture makers to have a chain of custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Benchmark was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category twice.
Exclusive Smile Stool
Designed by Jaime Hayon, the Smile Stool is elegantly crafted by Benchmark Furniture, displaying joy and expression in an understated design detail, available only at The Conran Shop.
Featuring an elegantly curved profile, the oak seat is atop four hand-turned legs, with two passing through the seat using tenon joints to form eyes. The playful 'smile' also functions as a carrying handle.
Finished in white oil, the oak stool displays the wood's natural grain, whilst remaining functional and versatile for everyday use.
Products by Benchmark