Could an Aluminium Balcony Create more Space

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Nick Dardalis

The lack of housing to meet ever growing populations is frequently reported.  Cities are looking for ways to add more dwellings to meet growing demand.  The solution is either to grow outwards or grow upwards; and this is where an aluminium balcony could be one innovative solution.

Future of London as one example is an independent not for profit policy network that works to establish housing, infrastructure and regeneration in the capital city. Their consultation agrees that growing the city upwards and not outwards is the solution.

kawneer bloomframe balcony.
The Bloomframe balcony uses aluminium, glass and panels to convert from a full height window to a fully useable and safe balcony.

The UK has already seen huge growth in the number of flats and apartments constructed in the last 10 years and brought on by the property boom. Despite this, dwellings are getting smaller not larger.  So what can you do to provide extra space?  Internally there are great innovations for creating more space in the home.  Certain developers are extolling the virtues of building downwards and constructing more innovative and spacious basements in residential terraced houses. But what about outside space?

An aluminium window that converts to a balcony.

Bloomframe® is a window frame that can change from a closed window to a fully useable balcony at the touch of a button. Using aluminium systems from Alcoa and Kawneer France, it provides a solution for providing extra outside space when required and staying closed as a window when not.

The revolutionary balcony was designed and patented by Hofman Dujardin Architects in Amsterdam patented and designed the product with Hurks Geveltechniek.  Alcoa Architectural Systems then set about creating the product in aluminium. The safety features of the product are critical to the success of it if adopted by architects and construction firms. To date, it’s reported that extensive safety testing has been carried out in accordance with current construction safety standards.

Bloomframe® has already been used in buildings in Europe and is no longer a prototype. , the innovative window that morphs magically into a balcony at the touch of a button, is no longer a prototype.

How is Bloomframe made?

The Bloomframe®  balcony uses aluminium, glass and aluminium panels in its construction.  It can be used in new build or refurbishment projects and the designers say that no major engineering work is required to accommodate the product into a building.

The maximum weight is approximately 350 kg per m² and can provide a great outside space with a 3000 mm long x 2400 mm high maximum size.

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Curtain Walling has been used for many years already in the construction of medium and high rise apartments.  This product appears to provide both an aesthetic and functional solution.  The advantage of curtain walling is the consistent sight lines and glass wall appearance to modern builds.

By incorporating a Bloomframe balcony properties benefit from a usable outside space that is so important to many when choosing a home.  Construction costs should be much lower as well compared to building a typical steel or concrete balcony with it’s associated sliding or swing doors.

Importantly this product provides a much needed space boost to studios and small apartments that are often very small with few windows and doors.

Modern construction materials such as walk on glass, aluminium panels and the aluminium system itself are already strong enough to be weight bearing.  This contemporary combination of materials is what makes this window to balcony system both aesthetically pleasing and fully functional whilst remaining safe.

Kawneer is responsible for the design, fabrication and installation of the product.