Outdoor life – the balcony experience part II – balconies with parapets
Privacy and intimacy while enjoying the view – that is what is offered by balconies fully enclosed with parapets!
Welcome to the second post on balconies as experienced when using them!
In the last post on plate balconies we experienced the possibilities and open ambience of plate balconies, typically with glass fences. In this post, we will look at the feel of balconies having integrated parapets on one or more sides, and what this does for the experience when using the balcony.
The definition of a “balcony with parapets”
A balcony with parapets is any balcony having walls of varying height – a parapet – on one or more side(s).
Balconies with parapets can be either monolithic cast, or the parapets can be cast separately and attached to the plate using chemical anchors prior to installation, this is typically decided by cost of form, transport or other practical factors.
Balconies with parapets can be attached structurally to the building in many ways (cantilevered, supported on brackets, on columns etc.), however having parapets in one or both sides is an opportunity to use the height of the parapet to transfer the moment to the building with limited forces, and this is often the reason for choosing this type of balcony.
The main reason for using CRC i2® for balconies with parapets, is the reduced weight of the parapets themselves, with thicknesses as low as 50 mm in some cases – in turn making larger balconies possible with acceptable loads and cold bridges towards the remaining structure.
Parapets on all sides
The first image from Moldeparken in Vejle shows the snug feeling of the enclosed balcony – and below image demonstrates the privacy, as the balcony space is shielded from view from the outside.
I personally lived several years in an apartment with this type of balcony, and it is nice to be able to be completely private on your balcony – otherwise a luxury reserved for penthouse or roof balconies.
CRC i2® balcony with medium height parapets on 3 sides in Vejle, Interior view (left) and exterior (right).
Often parapets are used only on the sides to create a privacy screen between neighbors, while the front is left open to improve the view from inside the apartment, as demonstrated in the example from Horisonten II in Copenhagen below.
CRC i2® balcony at Horisonten II in Copenhagen – a classic and simplistic balcony design with side parapets in both sides and a glass fence in front. In the left image the effect on improved privacy with the close distance to the neighbouring balconies is obvious, however in the image to the right, it is equally obvious, that the lack of a parapet in front, while improving the view from the apartment, reduce the level of privacy on the balcony.
In some cases, a parapet is used only in one side, as in Kjøita Secret Garden in Kristiansand below. This creates a more open expression, but also means that the privacy screens only work in one direction.
CRC i2® balcony with parapet in one side only at Kjøita Secret Garden in Kristiansand. Notice the difference in ambiance in the large and small photo: Large photo with parapet: A sense of privacy, but an unhindered view to the next balcony, Small photo: Exposed to the world, while unable to see onto the neighbouring balconies.
Variable height parapets
Parapets can also be made with varying height as demonstrated by the project Bella Vista in Aalborg:
4×4 meter CRC i2® balconies at Bella Vista in Aalborg, the integrated parapets are in two heights to allow for both privacy and taking in the view. Note the recess in the low parts of the parapets for fixing the glass fence, to avoid banisters cluttering the balcony space.
Finally, partial parapets, either in full or reduced height can be used to create varying degree of privacy in different directions, as shown in the image below from Musikhuskvarteret in Aalborg. The parapets were in this case cast separately and glued to the plate prior to installation.
6.1 × 4.6 m CRC i2® balcony at Musikhuskvarteret in Aalborg with partial parapets. The parapets create zones on the balcony for furnishing or sitting with increased privacy, and then opens to take in the view in the line of the glass doors to the apartment were the parapets are omitted.
Notice also the glass enclosure in the internal part of the balcony – this fully enclosed “winter garden” extends the period of use of the balcony to include early spring and late fall.
So, how do parapets contribute to the outdoor life on our balcony?
Parapets provide privacy and a sense of comfort, security and coziness. But they also reduce light and partially blocks the view… Consequently, parapets can be used deliberately by strategically placing openings and higher areas, to create ‘privacy zones’ and ‘open zones’ as desired, and at the same time creating a more varied visual expression of the building itself.
In short parapets add a dynamic to the expression and ambiance of the balconies and are therefore an important tool in creating the desired outdoor living space.
I hope you found this interesting, and as always, should you have questions or comments, feel free to do so.
Tommy Bæk Hansen
Product Development Manager