Do we know what we are dealing with?

Yes, I’m sure we do know! But we don’t seem to be entirely sure what to call these spaces with a unique nature, that can be created using the Lumon products? I have come across with terms like “Balcony enclosers”, “Sunroom enclosures”, “Wintergardens”, “Sun spaces”, “Glassed-in solariums” and so many more! In many European languages the local version of the term, ”Glazed balcony”, is a neutral and common expression, however not at all the only one.

The varying terminology of course makes these spaces no less useful. On the contrary, it brings to attention the different ways one can see the use and meaning of the space!

It also shows us that this type of space is one of the very few relatively new elements in apartment concept and design. Build and design of apartments is generally quite a conservative field of architecture and construction industry. The basic needs and traditional expectations of potential apartment occupiers need to be fulfilled. All this often has to be accomplished within very tight economical terms, maximizing sellable living space per other quantitative parameters or costs. This of course makes sense in order to keep living costs reasonable, but it leaves little room for the architect to make new innovations in the plans of actual apartments to make unique designs.

The lack of clarity in the terminology may also bring in the question whether a glazed balcony, wintergarden or whatever you name it, is an indoor or outdoor space? Despite the fact that it is a great add-on to the apartment, obviously increasing the sales value, a glazed balcony with frameless retractable glass panes is an outdoor space. It is ventilated, fully openable, a great buffer against weather, but clearly outside the thermal exterior wall of the building!

A convertible balcony for versatile use

Is this a balcony? Surely it is, but a convertible one, to make us enjoy it more at all times!

Pete Lattunen
Pete Lattunen
Architect, Export Manager, Lumon International
Pete can’t help constantly making observations on balcony facades while walking in urban or suburban environments! Development of urban living and expressions of it in urban architecture are of great interest to him – with a direct link to profession.