Foster 620. Design: Norman Foster.

Foster 620 – the upholstered kit

Upholstered bench Foster 620

Foster 620 comprises six seating sections that can be interchangeably combined to create different layouts. It features a straight section, a semi-circular end segment, and two types of curved elements – a compact and a lazy curve, which can be adapted to any setting.

Designed by architect Norman Foster, the Foster 620 is designed to bring people together in an informal setting for group discussions or as individual seats, and can be part of any lobby, waiting room or lounge space. Its flexibility allows it to become part of a dynamic environment and respond to changing needs of any organization.

Each element has a short backrest and a generous seat, which are supported by thin blade-like legs that almost disappear under the seat, as it appears to float effortlessly. Timber tables with tops matt powder-coated black or bronze, or lacquered in copper complete the ensemble.

Straights, compact curves and lazy curves: an ingenious system connects the benches either side panel to side panel or back to back. Foster 620 is a playful, high-grade upholstered bench system for shaping movement and calm in urban spaces (sketches by Norman Foster)

The design story

How can architecture be complemented by furnishings? How can a piece of furniture, like a building in a city, steer the flow of human movement? This was the question British architect Norman Foster, who has collaborated with Walter Knoll for two decades now, set out to resolve when he started developing the upholstered bench system Foster 620. Used for the first time in London, in the European headquarters of the Bloomberg media group, and in Philadelphia, at a leading US cable network operator’s offices, the modularity of the upholstered sections makes it possible to create a customized sculptural seating solution suited to a variety of different spaces. An ingenious system connects the benches either side panel to side panel or back to back. The upholstered configurations appear to float, carried by set-back blade-like legs. The specifics of craftsmanship, such as the long decorative seams and drawn-in details, underscore the sophistication and the bench’s dynamic effect. The covers are available in leather or fabric, with the option of built-in USB charging ports to support flexible working.

Six sections, interchangeably combinable: (top) side to side for a lazy curve, (bottom) back to back with compact curves

Norman Foster & Markus Benz

Chatting on the finest leather: Norman Foster (right) and Walter Knoll CEO Markus Benz on a prototype of Foster 620 in the architect’s London studio

Facts and details

Six seating sections make up the upholstered bench.
All sections are available as end and intermediate elements.
Exquisite leather, finished by hand.
Firm upholstery, providing the perfect balance for your body.
USB power ports can be integrated if required.

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Julia Schroeder

“The bench looks like a long meandering river poured out into a room. And that is why it is important that the joining and folded seams keep a linear form and support the movement.”

— Julia Schroeder, Seamstress in the Development Department at Walter Knoll