Trends 2023/2024: Garden and home office on the balcony

The Meneghello Paolelli Associati studio has developed the Urban Balcony system for the Unopiù brand, which allows you to turn even a small balcony into a home garden.

Balconies and loggias in city apartments usually have a very small area. But the value of even these modest meters, many were able to feel during the coronavirus pandemic – due to the need to observe self-isolation or just work from home. The Unopiù brand, together with Sandro Menegello and Marco Paolelli, proposed the idea of ​​expanding the potential of these spaces in terms of psychophysical well-being.

The Urban Balcony system, made of iroko wood, is based on a ladder structure – that includes three modules of different sizes to adapt to any space. From them, you can make various configurations and modify the system depending on personal needs. The frame is attached to a wall, ceiling, or other module for corner solutions. It features adjustable feet to match the slope of the floor and comes with a range of white aluminum accessories.

Shelves, flower pots, and cabinets add practicality to the system, which is especially important in a small space. Some elements are multi-functional: a lightweight mobile table hides a drying rack, which is used only occasionally and is not needed on a permanent basis. Both items can be taken apart and leaned against the wall to free up space. The designers also provided for the possibility of equipping a “garden office” – with electrical outlets and sun protection, which is installed on the ladder frame and fastened with a zipper.

“This is an intelligent hybrid system that takes small spaces more seriously,” the designers say, “and its value lies in improving and responding to the needs of the modern world.” Urban Balcony will evolve with elements ready for release next year, while Sandro Menegello and Marco Paolelli are working on a new type of seat and table that “fold in unprecedented ways, using new technologies or reimagining others borrowed from other areas.” The Urban Balcony project deserves special mention at the German Design Awards 2021.

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