Balconies have turned out to be our most sort after spaces amid the pandemic situation. We’ve all come across articles of people across different cultural realms using their balconies to spread hope and love to their next-door neighbor through music musings. How did the balconies which are now the prime source of safe peek, come into existence?

Breathe into space

The earliest concept of balconies were initiations of functionality. To beat the intense heat being built up in ancient Greece, they started building extended cut-outs which protruded fine enough to become a space of its own. The cross ventilation and daylight enhancement made the standards of incorporating balconies a fine deal. The cold countries also looked forward to the sunspaces with the enclosed balconies warming up spaces. 

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The balconies at Athens, Greece with defining human figure supports ©

The Shakespearean era

The idea of having an unexpected conversation is well depicted through the literature series where miracles can happen. The balcony is the catalyst here. The usage of wrought iron for the balustrades with curved patterns adds a homely touch. Though the concept of tiny balconies are ridiculed for their lack of anthropometric needs, some hold a stance as it is a way to bring in the proximal atmosphere into the inner space. 

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Conversations at the Juliet Balconies ©The Shakespearean Blog
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A modern approach to the same ©

The Royal take 

The ‘Jhorakha Darshan’ ( the sight of an idol through the balconies) consisted of octagonal marble pavilion towers where the subjects of the fort would get to greet the emperors under special circumstances in the Mughal period. It served as an efficient medium for both the parties to have a communication with the basis of hierarchy laid to serve justice and update on the ongoing happening’s. Here we observe how architecture has an impact which goes beyond the climatological functions.

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The Jharokha at the Jaisalmer Fort ©

The ‘mashrabiyas’ which is the Arabic context of the balconies hold high heritage value for the intricate lattice work encompassed on them. This passive cooling strategy required delicate craftsmen to handle the mesmerizing patterns. Privacy was another issue addressed here as long exposure from the eyes on the streets and surrounding dwellings could be addressed through the design on its own.

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The bright colour highlights it against the solid white ©mashribiyas
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The eye on the street ©

Leave an impact 

The Buckingham balconies are one of the most photographed spaces for their historic events. People all over Britain join the streets to have a glance at the royal family members on auspicious takes. From the announcement of a new monarch establishment to the newlywed couple beaming at the crowd this proves that the glance of authority stands out when the balcony has an impact from its inner source to the external world. We can almost call a mysterious take on architectural spaces where the spectator watches the balconies which seem distant only to spark up the curiosity.

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A glimpse of the historic gathering to meet the new the new Monarch at the Buckingham palace ©

The pandemic call

As the world experienced a massive lockdown over the pandemic of COVID- 19, balconies have transformed as a platform to exhibit our talents to the neighbourhood to keep the spirits up and entertained. People who live in high rise buildings who’d reached home after work at night get to explore the canvas of the sunset. The balconies which are apt for interaction in isolation where the flats are connected through a set of external staircases. This leaves room for a micro garden growth too!

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A mundane version gets an exploration ©

The future façade

Our buildings stand as a solid form held by the strings of form, function and sustenance. Balconies today add a strong value for they exhibit the viewpoints. The staggering technique we often see helps all the modules receive the same features. Smart technology approached to integrate the kinetic mechanism to have a response to the external stimuli. 

They reach out to the ongoing observance as an eye-catching feature.  The mountain dwellings by BIG architects renowned  for using the slope to advantage to create an open sense to each pod. The cultivation of each space is left to the owner’s creativity and this calls for time and creative investment that well applied for the interiors.

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The mountain dwelling ©

So the next time we head out for a cup of chai or to hang the clothes in our very own balconies, let’s take a moment to appreciate how it has evolved across the ages to fit into the people’s lives, a small space to leave an impact, a glance into the neighbourhood, a minute of conversation, a peek at the sky. 


Harshitha K S is an avid reader, writer and student who believes that the simple habitual observations often spark exceptional ideas. She finds describing spaces through words to an unfamiliar to be engagingly vivid. With sustainability being the matchless shot forward, she hopes to make a worthwhile contribution.