When you develop the visual identity of a building, all details are important. While a major element, like a facade, can quickly catch the eye of passersby, the smaller individual components inside a structure work together to develop a sense of continuity, purpose and specific aesthetic.
In this context, it's important to consider the value of internal balustrade and how they contribute to the design, intent and purpose of your project. With the right application, these supporting structures can stand out in the eyes of all those who enter your building as well as help guide them through the space safely and as intended.
Let's go through a brief review of exactly what internal balustrades are, then consider some unique and eye-catching uses of them in a variety of building contexts.
What are internal balustrades?
A balustrade is a group of balusters, which themselves are individual structural forms. They're most commonly seen supporting staircase railings but can also be used in fencing and other applications. In the simplest terms, they're vertical posts connecting the floor and the railing or other object above.
Balustrades offer elements of both form and function. They might be intricately or simply styled, in line with the overall design concept of the structure they reside in or outside of. They play a key safety role as well, keeping people and objects from easily falling – an especially important need when serving as a barrier between a lower and higher level, like a balcony. These design elements can be made of wood, stone or a variety of metals, including stainless steel, aluminium and other materials.
Internal balustrades, then, are just balustrades seen indoors. Because they aren't exposed to the elements on a regular basis, they can be coated, painted and otherwise designed with more freedom than exterior balustrades.
Interesting uses of internal balustrades
Floor-to-ceiling post balustrade
Balustrades can fulfil their function in a variety of forms. While internal balustrades are often designed to connect a railing and the steps or floor below it, this doesn't always have to be the case. Australian company Studio Black Interiors put a new spin on the common format by extending the balustrades next to a staircase from floor to ceiling.
This eye-catching concept still offers the protective, functional element of a balustrade, but does so in a novel way. This look could be executed with a number of different materials and finishes, such as stainless steel or a variety of coated metals. Depending on the needs of your specific project, a similar approach could help craft the visual identity of your main or ancillary stairwell.
Mesh screens as balustrades
The flexibility of the basic balustrade design concept is on display in this example that we fabricated. As opposed to keeping the posts between the steps and railing – or using posts at all – a reinforced wire screen plays the role of balustrade on the side of the staircase that's exposed to the floor below.
This foundational idea can be customised with a variety of individual specifications. You may choose to use woven wire as the screen material. Aluminium, stainless steel and other metals can offer the support and protection from heights needed while lending themselves to a visually impressive appearance.
Steel wire balustrade
Balustrades don't have to be strictly vertical elements. A combination of wide-spaced vertical posts with wire run between them adds a new dimension to the look while also addressing safety issues.
Netherlands-based Newstairs executed this concept on a balcony, creating an area that feels less confined without sacrificing any of the protection balustrades provide. Other, similar options for this approach include using stainless steel or aluminium balustrade panels to offer a mix of visibility and security on balconies.
A partner to help you make the most of internal balustrades
A great concept or design for a balustrade is only effective when you have an experienced, dependable partner to help craft, finish and deliver the necessary parts. Locker helps architects, builders and other stakeholders successfully execute their vision for new construction and renovations with a variety of standard and custom-made fabricated metal parts. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help turn your vision for your internal balustrades into a reality.