Transforming from a flat window into a balcony at the push of a button, the Bloomframe design is not only available for purchase after years of design refinements, it’s also set to be the defining feature of an entire apartment building. Amsterdam-based architecture firm Hofman Dujardin won the Red Dot Design Award back in 2008 for the concept, which manages to be both innovative and attractive, eliminating some of the bulk seen in similar designs.
Think of it as the balcony version of a Murphy bed: you press a button and something useful pops out of the wall to offer you more space and functionality. Operated by remote control, the balcony looks like an ordinary window, except with an opaque metal panel where the lower pane of glass would normally be. Activate it, and an electric motor drive will extend out the top frame, pushing the lower one down into the balcony’s floor.
The whole process takes about fifteen seconds to complete, and the result is a real balcony with enough space for two people to sit down at a table and enjoy a meal. It was conceived specifically for spaces where traditional balconies aren’t logistically possible, like apartment renovations or warehouse conversions.
When a dozens of them are installed in a single apartment building, like Hofman Dujardin’s proposed housing block, the result is a dynamic, constantly changing facade pattern. “In the winter the facade is closed, during spring the facades open like a flourishing flower,” say the designers.