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-   -   Balconies, design vs livability (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=240003)

harryc Aug 15, 2019 3:57 PM

Aqua
 
Chicago | Aqua by Harry Carmichael, on Flickr

Chicago | Aqua by Harry Carmichael, on Flickr

harryc Aug 15, 2019 4:02 PM

Marina City
 
Marina City by Harry Carmichael, on Flickr

Steely Dan Aug 15, 2019 4:06 PM

views from my old marina city balcony:

https://i.postimg.cc/W4dPBWfw/view-1.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/MGg8q7C2/view-4.jpg


i miss it. we still own the unit. it may become our pied-à-terre in our golden years, but we're renting it out these days.

i've also thought about using it as a carrot to get my kids to stick around in chicago as young adults instead of just moving to austin or denver or wherever kids will move en masse to in 20 years.

"hey son, you just graduated from college, we've got a great little apartment in the heart of downtown chicago that i can give you a great deal on if you wanna move back home, nudge nudge"

the urban politician Aug 15, 2019 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 8659413)
i've also thought about using it as a carrot to get my kids to stick around in chicago as young adults instead of just moving to austin or denver or wherever kids will move en masse to in 20 years.

"hey son, you just graduated from college, we've got a great little apartment in the heart of downtown chicago that i can give you a great deal on if you wanna move back home, nudge nudge"

^ I've thought about my rentals playing a similar role for my kids. The only downtown unit I have is in 235 W VB which also has a south facing balcony with views that will never be blocked. It's not as cool as Marina City, though.

BrandonJXN Aug 15, 2019 5:56 PM

If I were to live in a highrise in Chicago, I would easily pick Coast in LSE. I absolutely love it's uniformity and it's recessed balconies are it's main selling point.

https://scontent-sjc3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...2f&oe=5DD7DF5E
Me

The North One Aug 15, 2019 6:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 8659327)
If you recess them into the facade and use lighter materials (ie railings rather than walls), they blend a lot better. This method makes for perfectly nice and inoffensive background buildings that most people don't think of as either specifically ugly nor specifically beautiful.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...7eb68532_c.jpg
from google street view


You can use that same method with a glass building and the effect is similar. Totally acceptable and appropriate for most buildings. Blends into the background.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...7157e82c_c.jpg
from google street view

Both of these look terrible though. But I agree it's hard to make them look good.

dave8721 Aug 15, 2019 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricochet48 (Post 8659375)
Definitely not illegal. I grill every week on my highrise Chicago balcony. Our building does not allow charcoal though. I have heard some do (but it's rare and HOA contingent).

Here is the Florida law. They actually just legalized small electric "grills" for balcony use in 2018 but gas and charcoal and any decent sized grills are against the fire code. Basically hot plates were legalized for outdoor use.
Quote:

The current edition of the Code is based on the 2015 NFPA 1 Fire Code. With respect to cooking equipment, Section 10.10.6.1 prohibits using or kindling hibachis, grills, or other similar devices for cooking, heating, or any other purpose on any balcony, under any overhang portion, or within 10 feet of any structure, other than in one and two-family dwellings. However, Section 10.10.6.1.1 allows listed electric portable, tabletop grills, or other similar apparatus, so long as they do not exceed 200 square inches of cooking surface.
One more thing, it would be illegal to grill (or even store a grill) within 10 feet of one of your Chicago 3-flats if they were in Florida. They are only legal in one or two family dwellings.

Steely Dan Aug 15, 2019 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dave8721 (Post 8659635)
One more thing, it would be illegal to grill (or even store a grill) within 10 feet of one of your Chicago 3-flats if they were in Florida. They are only legal in one or two family dwellings.

florida is dumb.

i've got a gas grill on the back deck of our 3-flat, as do both of our neighbors upstairs.

as does every other person in the city of chicago. what's up with florida's grill paranoia?

for a city as paranoid about fire as chicago is, you'd think the situation would be reversed.

The Chemist Aug 15, 2019 11:39 PM

Here in China pretty much all apartment buildings have balconies, but since most people choose to glass them in entirely (or they are built that way in the first place) they're more like sun rooms rather than true balconies. And only the most expensive buildings have balconies that are actually usable for spending time on - in most buildings they're pretty tiny (mine is only about 45 square feet). Most people just use them for laundry - without a dryer, clothes dry by far the fastest when they're on the balcony.

Hindentanic Aug 16, 2019 12:14 AM

A truly hideous "postage stamp" example can be seen in the balconies of the Alteza Condos atop San Antonio's Grand Hyatt by Arquitectonica:

http://ie-services.com/wp-content/up...randHyatt3.jpg
[Photo from Intelligent Engineering Services)

https://images.skyscrapercenter.com/...yer-boake4.jpg
(Photo by Terri Meyer Boake on CTBUH)

https://images.skyscrapercenter.com/...yer-boake6.jpg
(Photo by Terri Meyer Boake on CTBUH)

I am surprised the drop down the sheer face doesn't require a "people catching" netting, but then nobody is ever seen using these balconies anyway.
They exist to sell condos.

https://sabor2.connectmls.com/PICS/6..._DSC06375.JPEG
(Photo from San Antonio Board of Realtors on KWSanAntonio)


I'm not a fan of this planar, austere, pattern-making style, as it tends to come across as more mediocre and cheap rather than modernist Rietveld artsy.
Once upon a time we built operable bay windows and wrap-around verandahs or lanai, nowadays we get stubby scraps of bite-sized Balcony Bits:

https://3snpdc2ba9m5uwuk62n8cs84-wpe...1-1024x682.jpg
(Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone on the Rivard Report)

https://media.atre.yardi.com/1/58130...ard-3-copy.png
(Montage from Multi-Housing News)

Desperation for development, the requirements of marketing, and the most marginal of low-cost construction leaves us with this stuff.
If they stripped the patterns of stubby bits off we might see how truly banal this throwaway architecture is...:

https://edge.media.datahc.com/HI554510782.jpg
(Photo from Hotels Combined)

...Quick, screw back on some decorative balcony railings to fool them!

.
.
.

Speaking of fooling them with decoration, here is the crassly PoMo historicist Courtyard San Antonio Riverwalk by Marriott:

https://www.emporis.com/images/show/...rys-street.jpg
(Photo by Randall Crane on Emporis)

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b4/f0...1a70d1c335.jpg
(Photo from Marriott.com hosted on Pinterest)

It's got upgraded window trim, dainty lanterns, Italianate columns, and yet it all still adds up to an unsatisfactory urbanist experience.

A comparison can be made with the Omni La Mansión del Rio, nearby at only 200 ft. away and which also has tiny balconies,
dainty lanterns, columns, and historicist dressing:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/90/02...bac525cf0c.jpg
(Photo from calculatedtraveller.com hosted on Pinterest)

https://i1.wp.com/www.mommytravels.n...-Riverwalk.jpg
(Photo from Mommy Travels)

Don't be fooled by the historicist style, this building is from 1968 and is built wrapping around an interior parking garage.
Both hotels are on directly the Riverwalk and both architectures use short decorative balconies,
but one contributes to creating a great urban place, while the other is a colorized architectural cartoon.

.
.
.

Pity the city's authentically historic Aurora Apartments have been reduced to a neglected retirement home on public subsidy orbiting on the
outskirts of downtown, as it has picturesque balconies and operable bay windows. Why can we not build more like this?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...an_antonio.jpg
(Photo by Larry D. Moore on Wikimedia)

RCDC Aug 16, 2019 12:37 AM

Stuck on balconies with metal railings suck, they only serve to check a real estate "feature" box. Balconies are much better when they're integrated into the design and feel safe and comfortable.

https://live.staticflickr.com/8499/8...3c609934_z.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rogersg/8333211062

https://i.imgur.com/CSbZFup.jpg
https://www.winstonre.com/1116-watergate-south

MonkeyRonin Aug 16, 2019 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8659948)
Here in China pretty much all apartment buildings have balconies, but since most people choose to glass them in entirely (or they are built that way in the first place) they're more like sun rooms rather than true balconies. And only the most expensive buildings have balconies that are actually usable for spending time on - in most buildings they're pretty tiny (mine is only about 45 square feet). Most people just use them for laundry - without a dryer, clothes dry by far the fastest when they're on the balcony.


You see some of that in the older rental towers in Toronto, where people have screened in the balcony to get a bit more living space. Which begs the question: why not just add that space to the interior in the first place? It'd be of a bit more use than the bicycle storage/smoking patio that most people actually seem to use their balconies for.


https://live.staticflickr.com/2037/2...9bbeca9b_z.jpg
St. Jamestown
by Paul Kulig, on Flickr

Shawn Aug 16, 2019 2:15 AM

High balconies (20 floors and up) can be fine functional spaces if they’re recessed. This is the standard for Japanese residential towers. Yeah, the look gets repetitive, but it keeps lines sleek and sharp, and it looks less cheap.

I strongly dislike the aesthetics of 95% of exposed balconies on towers. Miami has what, the 4th largest skyline in North America at this point, no? By all rights, I should like (or at least respect) that skyline, but all those exposed balconies cheapens the look to such an extent that looking past it for me is impossible.

The North One Aug 16, 2019 3:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hindentanic (Post 8659984)

https://edge.media.datahc.com/HI554510782.jpg
(Photo from Hotels Combined)

...Quick, screw back on some decorative balcony railings to fool them!

This is criminal. I want whoever is responsible prosecuted and jailed. They are a danger to society.

Omaharocks Aug 16, 2019 3:48 PM

Athens, Greece comes to mind here.

Nearly the entire city is midrises with ugly, but very functional balconies. They practically define the look of the place, all with enormous shade awnings.

Barrelfish Aug 16, 2019 4:31 PM

The Vista balconies are disappointing, but Jeanne and Studio Gang are doing some really creative things with balconies. At their best, they become an integral part of the design.

Aqua has already been mentioned, but a few more examples:

Quote:

Amsterdam Tower (which is 2 towers) pushes the walls of the facade out and has balconies recessed within it, playing with angles to make it visually interesting

https://studiogang.com/img/bFl3UW1rc...ndering-03.jpg

https://studiogang.com/img/dWVJM2ZTL...ndering-02.jpg

Quote:

City Hyde Park
takes the opposite route and juts out the balconies. Alternating trapezoids of balconies and window bays give it a unified (if somewhat chaotic) look

https://studiogang.com/img/L2t5bVJ5O...os-final-2.jpg
Quote:

MIRA in SF is my personal favorite. A similar principle to City Hyde Park, but part of a spiraling tower.

https://studiogang.com/img/WHNwZlRGR...up-updated.jpg



jtown,man Aug 16, 2019 6:37 PM

Why can't we build like we used to? Well, we used to have near slave wages and most people(the vast majority) lived terrible impoverished lives even in the West.

If we want extremely high-quality buildings, it's gonna cost A LOT. But the people building it make a decent living, so thats a good thing. Sure, there are permitting costs and all the other crap that adds up, but everything makes sense.

SIGSEGV Aug 16, 2019 6:51 PM

In Romania many people have glassed off their balconies to make a sunroom/garden of sorts. I kind of like the idea of a convertible balcony, does such a thing exist? A sunroom would be nice in the winter...

plinko Aug 16, 2019 9:31 PM

I used to live in a relatively tall building in Phoenix of all places with a rather large balcony on the 16th floor. It was north facing so actually useful, but architecturally dreadful. I stored 2 bicycles out there, took many dates out there, watched parades from it, watched three different swat team raids in the neighborhood, and went out there whenever the air conditioning in the apartment was too cold (the building was from 1964 with a chiller loop so the AC was either 'ON' or 'OFF' at about 60 degrees). Kind of wonderful to go from 60 degrees to 115 in an instant. I had floor to ceiling glass so never closed the blinds (why would I?).

The thing I loved the most about it though was watching the sky. Watching the sun come up over Four Peaks and down over the White Tanks (6 months out of the year), summer dust and thunderstorms rolling across the Valley, and the wonderful cacaphony of traffic and the city below (for short time periods).

That being said, I was always afraid my cat was going to fall off of it. I can't imagine having my children out there. Too easy and quick for one of them to make a mistake.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...64a315ac_b.jpg
phx369 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...5b109214_b.jpg
phx158 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr

If I had a south facing unit, I would have gotten this city view, but the majority of the time I would have had heavy drapes closed to block out the sun and heat. No bueno...

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...63a1bf94_b.jpg
phx004 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr

bobdreamz Aug 17, 2019 1:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shawn (Post 8660095)
High balconies (20 floors and up) can be fine functional spaces if they’re recessed. This is the standard for Japanese residential towers. Yeah, the look gets repetitive, but it keeps lines sleek and sharp, and it looks less cheap.

I strongly dislike the aesthetics of 95% of exposed balconies on towers. Miami has what, the 4th largest skyline in North America at this point, no? By all rights, I should like (or at least respect) that skyline, but all those exposed balconies cheapens the look to such an extent that looking past it for me is impossible.

I figured this is one of the main reasons why many don't like Miami's skyline but it's trying with some of the newer towers that have been built / proposed.

Una | 613 ft | 47 Fl | Proposed

https://i.imgur.com/WNjP2ne.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/WNjP2ne.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/6W2tfs7.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6W2tfs7.jpg

Aston Martin Residences | 817ft | 70 fl | U/C

http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...ps139xfmok.jpg
http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...ps139xfmok.jpg

http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...psnonbi7xx.jpg
http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...psnonbi7xx.jpg

Paramount | 699 ft | 213 m | 60 fl |U/C

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/...47503bd3_c.jpg
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/...47503bd3_c.jpg

Elysee | 644ft | 57 fl | U/C

http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...psqhvyv46w.jpg
http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/...psqhvyv46w.jpg

Echo Brickell | 750 FT | 60 FL | Built

http://www.cfearchitects.com/wp-cont...brickell-1.jpg
http://www.cfearchitects.com/wp-cont...brickell-1.jpg

http://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/d...2534-78230.jpg
http://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/d...2534-78230.jpg

Four Seasons Hotel & Tower l 240m l 64fl | Built

https://www.emporis.com/images/show/...-southwest.jpg
https://www.emporis.com/images/show/...-southwest.jpg

One Thousand Museum | 215m | 706ft | 60 fl | T/O

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4837/...7473891c_h.jpg
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4837/...7473891c_h.jpg

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w


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