Romeo and Juliet bench couple seated

This bench (aptly named Romeo & Juliet, though supposedly for the trees) is not only designed around romantic encounters, its construction seems to virtually force people to sit closer together to keep it from tipping over.

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Romeo and Juliet bench

Though it looks simple enough and certainly adds a nice touch of green, the subtle placement of two potted plants by designers Vyvey creates an obvious seating space in between them – gently pressuring people to sit closer to one another. Only its creators know for sure whether this was an innocent accident of design or a calculated and clever work of social engineering tied up in a basic-looking bench-and-planter design.

Romeo and Juliet bench long

It’s available for purchase through Extremis. Here’s a little more info:

“This wooden garden bench designed by Stijn Goethals, Koen Baeyens and Basile Graux has a definite bonus: it not only offers a comfortable place for passers-by to sit and relax but also adds a touch of green to an often colourless urban or industrial setting.”

Romeo and Juliet bench detail

“The outdoor bench is made of long, rectangular strips of wood. It has two round holes in the seat for large flowerpots which can contain your preferred small tree or plant. Just like Romeo and Juliet, the trees are destined to be together without ever being able to touch. The bench seems to float between the trees. Obviously, Romeo & Juliet lends itself perfectly to the contract market. When several outdoor benches are arranged in line, the distance between the trees remains identical which creates architectural harmony. Naturally, this wooden garden bench is perfectly suited to private gardens or patios as well.”

Romeo and Juliet bench installed

“One added bonus is the 10 cm gap between the inner flowerpot and the outer flowerpot to which the bench is attached. It acts as a water reservoir, but also offers plenty of ‘breathing space’ to tree roots which prevents rotting.”