Do we know what we are dealing with?

Yes, I’m sure we do know. But we don’t seem to be entirely sure how 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”, etc… 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 tells us about the different kind of ways one can see the use and meaning of the space!

What it also tells us is the fact that this kind 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.

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

Balcony glazing

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

Lumon Pete Lattunen
Pete Lattunen
Architect, Export Manager, Lumon International
The writer is someone who can’t help walking in urban or suburban environments without constantly making observations on balcony facades! Development of urban living and expressions of it in urban architecture are of great interest – with a direct link to profession.