Balcony

Balcony

Overview
Balcony a platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by column
Column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s or console
Corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

 brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade.

The traditional Maltese
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 balcony is a wooden closed balcony projecting from a wall.

By contrast, a 'Juliet balcony' does not protrude out of the building. It is usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, like a small Loggia
Loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

.
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Encyclopedia
Balcony a platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by column
Column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s or console
Corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

 brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade.

Types


The traditional Maltese
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 balcony is a wooden closed balcony projecting from a wall.

By contrast, a 'Juliet balcony' does not protrude out of the building. It is usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, like a small Loggia
Loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

. Modern Juliet balconies often involve a metal barrier placed in front of a high window which can be opened.

Juliet balconies are named after Shakespeare's Juliet, who, in traditional stagings of the play Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

, is courted by Romeo while she is on her balcony -- though in fact the play itself, as written, makes no mention of a balcony, but only of a window at which Juliet appears. Various types of balcony have been used in depicting this famous scene; however the 'balcony of Juliet' at Villa Capuleti in Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

 is not in fact a 'Juliet balcony', as it does indeed protrude from the wall of the villa (see photograph below).

Functions


Sometimes balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes, e.g. that of St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

 at Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, when the newly elected pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 gives his blessing urbi et orbi after the conclave
Papal conclave
A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, who then becomes the Pope during a period of vacancy in the papal office. The Pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church...

. Inside churches, balconies are sometimes provided for the singers, and in banqueting halls and the like for the musicians.

A unit with a regular balcony will have doors that open up onto a small patio with railings, a small Patio garden or Skyrise greenery. A French balcony is actually a false balcony, with doors that open to a railing with a view of the courtyard or the surrounding scenery below.

In theatres, the balcony was formerly a stage-box, but the name is now usually confined to the part of the auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

 above the dress circle and below the gallery.

Notable balconies


One of the most famous uses of a balcony is in traditional stagings of the scene that has come to be known as the "balcony scene" in William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

(though in fact the scene makes no mention of a balcony, but only of a window at which Juliet appears).

Balcony names


Manufacturers names for their balcony designs often refer to the origin of the design, i.e. Italian balcony, Spanish balcony, Mexican balcony, Ecuadorian balcony, etc. They also refer to the shape and form of the pickets used for the balcony railings, i.e. knuckle balcony, goose balcony, pot belly balcony, etc.

See also


  • Deck
    Deck (building)
    In architecture, a deck is a flat surface capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building...

  • Jharokha
    Jharokha
    A jharokha is a type of overhanging enclosed balcony used in Indian architecture, typically Mughal architecture and Rajasthani architecture. Jharokhas jutting forward from the wall plane could be used both for adding to the architectural beauty of the building itself or for a specific purpose...

  • Loggia
    Loggia
    Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

  • Mezzanine
    Mezzanine
    Mezzanine may refer to:* Mezzanine , an intermediate floor between main floors of a building* Mezzanine, in technology, can refer to a thin sheet of plastic insulating different parts of circuitry from each other in cramped environments, such as laptop interiors* Mezzanine board, or daughterboard,...

  • Minstrel's gallery
  • Patio
    Patio
    A patio is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is typically paved. It may refer to a roofless inner courtyard of the sort found in Spanish-style dwellings or a paved area between a residence and a garden....

  • Porch
    Porch
    A porch is external to the walls of the main building proper, but may be enclosed by screen, latticework, broad windows, or other light frame walls extending from the main structure.There are various styles of porches, all of which depend on the architectural tradition of its location...

  • Verandah
    Verandah
    A veranda or verandah is a roofed opened gallery or porch. It is also described as an open pillared gallery, generally roofed, built around a central structure...