Apartment with a balcony
Buying an apartment with a balcony
Perhaps, like Juliet, you dream of counting the stars from your balcony? Or even cultivating a few basil plants? For you, an apartment with a balcony isn’t just a bonus… it’s a must-have !
A balcony is a structure projecting from a building façade. Unlike a terrace, which is built on a solid surface, a balcony is suspended above the street level below and surrounded by a balustrade. Its architectural history dates back several centuries. Derived from the German word balk meaning ‘beam’, the term balcony was first used in 1623 by the Mercure français to describe a kind of “window that projects outwards in the form of an overhang”. We then come across them in general – and even château – architecture and from the 17th century onwards!
It was in 1869 that Édouard Manet produced his famous painting The Balcony. Behind the green balustrade, the first thing we notice is the face of Berthe Morisot, seated in the foreground and gazing at the world below. And on our balconies, we really do have the world at our feet!
From corbelled to continuous, bow window or loggia, balconies come in many different shapes and sizes. They may have a glass roof, extend along the full width of the building, be just big enough for a table and two chairs, or provide enough space to create a mini-garden! The type of balcony will depend on the architectural style of the building.
An apartment with a balcony: a window to the sky !
While balconies are obviously commonplace on the second and fifth floors of Haussmann-style buildings, they are also frequent features on many newer buildings constructed from the 1970s onwards.
In Paris, it’s the double-digit arrondissements that have the most balconies! But wherever you go in France, the balcony (and its larger sibling, the terrace) increases property values, and therefore selling prices. No matter how small, every outdoor space has its benefits, and its monetary value often increases the higher up the building you go.
That’s because if you have a fifth-floor apartment with a balcony, you can be pretty certain that it will be quiet, sunny and even private. What more could you ask for ?