Bench seating is a term used to describe seating options that do not include a backrest as part of the seating option. Bench seating may be configured to accommodate one or two people, or as a means of providing seating for larger numbers of people, such as in a sports stadium. Seating of this type if often found in both private and public settings.
When most people think of bench seating, the first thing that comes to mind is a sports arena or stadium. It is not unusual for college and professional football stadiums in the United States to make use of bench seating. This approach is practical for several reasons. First, bench seating makes it possible to accommodate more people than the installation of individual seats would allow. This means that there is the potential to sell more tickets for any sporting event taking place in the facility.
Another advantage to bench seating in a sports stadium has to do with care and maintenance. Stadium seating of this type can effectively be washed off and allowed to air dry in many climates. Along with the fact that the bench seating is usually constructed of durable materials such as concrete, the wear and tear on the seating is minimal, making it possible to last for many more years than other types of seating options.
Along with sports stadiums, bench seating is also used in many outdoor performing venues. The reasons for employing bench seating in these settings is very similar to those associated with a sports arena. It is possible to accommodate more attendees and thus increase ticket sales. Depending on the location, the bench seating for these types of facilities may be simple concrete benches or feature hardwood or metal seating. In some cases, the bench seating may be retractable, meaning that when not in use, the seating is folded and stored out of the elements.
In public parks and gardens, simple bench seating is often provided at strategic points throughout the area. Unlike the seating found in stadiums and arenas, these benches are usually constructed to support two to four people comfortably. The benches may be constructed using concrete or cement, brick, metal or wood, possibly even using a combination of materials if the designer chooses. Bench seating in a park or public garden is usually designed to last for an extended period of time, since the benches do remain exposed to the weather year round.
One of the more common examples of bench seating is with picnic tables. The simple benches are either incorporated into the table design or are designed to place alongside one or both of the long sides of the table. While picnic tables are often constructed with wood, it is also possible to purchase tables and benches that are constructed of heavy-duty plastic or cement.
Bench seating may also be employed in the home as well. Window seats are sometimes referred to as bench seating. In the kitchen, benches may be used rather than chairs to provide seating around a casual dining area. Bench seating may even function well in halls or mud rooms, providing a simple yet comfortable place to sit while putting on or removing shoes. In the home and in public places, bench seating is often an ideal way to provide seating that is functional and attractive.