Maniera presents a new collection of outdoor furniture by New York architecture practice MOS. The garden furniture collection (suitable for indoor and outdoor use) features a seating including stools and a sofa, as well as baskets and an outdoor stove, defined by modular compositions and a modernist aesthetic. 

The collection was photographed at the 1960s Roelants House designed by Willy Van Der Meeren and located in the Flemish countryside. Van Der Meeren’s architectural approach, using prefabricated elements and raw materials, forms a fitting backdrop for the simple compositions of MOS’ garden furniture collections. 

Wooden furniture inspired by Shaker photographed in a garden in the Belgian countryside

‘We’re interested in making things, not buying things. If we need a table, we make it. If we need a seat, we make it,’ says architect Hilary Sample of MOS’ approach to designing furniture. Sample founded the studio together with Michael Meredith in 2005, with the aim of designing buildings with a pragmatic, responsible approach, and a focus on educational facilities, the arts and housing.

A modern garden furniture collection 

Orange and turquoise baskets shown in a garden

The garden furniture collection is modular and minimal, drawing from the principles of Shaker furniture, with special attention to craftsmanship techniques. The architects observe that the Shakers’ high-quality furniture production and simple approach to crafting objects is still very relevant today. Functionality is very much in evidence in MOS’ new collection, imagined for the garden and beyond. 

Among the pieces that best exemplify the studio’s Shaker inspiration are the baskets, objects that are both useful, multifunctional and beautiful. Available in bright orange and turquoise, and punctuated by metal bolts that keep the structure together while providing the only ornament for the pieces, the baskets can be turned upside down to become outdoor seating for one or two people. 

Black stove in a garden

The collection’s ‘Stove/Chimney’, meanwhile, rethinks a staple of the Shaker home using additional components such as a fire box and a table – making it perfect for outdoor summer gatherings. 

‘One of the main values of the Shakers was a precise sense of utility, every object had a specific function,’ says Sample. ‘The objects we make typically have multiple uses: legs can be back rests, stoves can be tables, baskets can be stools, or something we haven’t imagined.’

Other pieces in the collection include wooden chairs and benches built with a peg system, and the multifunctional ‘Dot System’ of outdoor furniture, made from perforated, round aluminium panels that are bolted together, to become a chair, table or bench. §