Innovative concepts, inspirational offices and high-quality design – this is what distinguishes the Austrian quality brand Bene. We trace the history of the 225-year-old company from its beginnings as a small carpenter's workshop in Waidhofen an der Ybbs to becoming the international expert for new working environments.
In 1790, Michael Bene established a carpenter's workshop in the Lower Austrian town of Waidhofen on the Ybbs, laying the foundation stone for what grew to become an international corporate group. When the small but enterprising local company started producing office furniture on an industrial scale in the 1950s, no one anticipated the extraordinary symbiosis of office furniture, space and architecture that eventually emerged. But this is the Bene story – and this creative symbiosis continues today: at more than 80 Bene locations in more than 40 countries.
The internationalisation of the company began in the 1980s. Today Bene has numerous offices in cities around the world, including London and Dubai. The latest addition to the Bene map is New York. Since May this year, Bene has been showcasing forward-looking office solutions in its studio right in the heart of artistic Chelsea.
Bene does not think in terms of cabinets, tables and drawers. But in zones, spaces and places. As early as the 1960s, the office solutions expert reinterpreted the workplace on a broad scale, redefining it in terms of a living organism. The office is a complex living zone that must adapt itself to the requirements of the individuals. This sounds plausible if you think about how much time an individual spends in the work place.
Bene sees the office as a pulsating, stimulating and fluid urban landscape. Success in the workplace requires different spaces and places where concentration, communication and inspiration can thrive and unfold. These spaces must always be attuned to individual daily routines, activity profiles and company processes. In line with the motto: “Choose the place you need.”
The product range caters to all spaces and places of a contemporary office, from back office and management, wall systems, conference solutions with media equipment, office and conference chairs, to upholstered furniture for lobbies and lounges. For Bene, it is not about individual pieces of furniture, but always about the whole, the space where design and aesthetics come together.
Numerous national and international awards in the last few decades, such as the Design Prize awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany, the red dot award or the iF Design Award, underline Bene's role in the international design environment.
Even after 225 years of corporate history, Bene still visualises a pioneering and vanguard role for itself in the branch: "Our responsibility is to scrutinise our products constantly and develop innovative solutions that correspond to the spirit of the times while promoting creative collaboration among employees and supporting the potential of the individual”, says Michael Fried, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Marketing and Sales. “Our consistent aim is to contribute to the success of our customers’ businesses."
In this context: Happy Birthday Bene!