"Balcon additionel" by Julien Berthier
In cities, particularly dense cities like New York, outdoor space is as valuable as it is rare. Spacious, affordable apartments are already hard to find, let alone balcony apartments overlooking a park or green space like all those you see in the movies. Still, those city dwellers who are fortunate to have a balcony or terrace don't always put it to good use, i.e. they aren't knocking back drinks or cackling madly as they survey "their" domain. (That's what the high life is supposed to feel like, right?) No, for many, the balcony can quickly be turned into a storage space or even be converted into a third bedroom, even if it's not strictly legal.
The "balcon additionel" solves both problems: it gives residents a chance to experience life with a balcony, while not offering them a permanent solution for where to keep their neglected stairmaster. The pop-up balcony is sure to live up any dreary living situation, if only for a few hours at a time.
The project, by Julien Berthier, involves the use of a small crane that lifts the balcony unit into place, just flush with apartment facade and windows. The installation, which was debuted in Paris, seems tailored to the city's Haussmann-era building stock. The balcony itself is wrought with period, 'Second Empire' details that makes its application in more contemporary environs something of a joke (if you aren't laughing already). Berthier says that the balcony can be used anywhere, fitted to any building and then easily removed. The crane, of course, must stay in place throughout the duration of use, a drawback, sure, but we're not exactly expecting that Berthier's installation finds widespread application. Though that would be something, wouldn't it?