Balcony Photo Competition Winner 2010, Case Study

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Isle of Wight

Contractor: Self Build

A spectacular glass and aluminium balcony overlooking the Solent has earned an Isle of Wight couple top prize in Balcony Systems' first-ever Photo Competition.

Curved Glass Balcony Isle of Wight

Retired business owners Stephen, 73 and Jo Harwood, 68, installed the balustrade last summer at their Fishbourne home and were selected from hundreds of entries featuring glass Juliette and external balconies to win an iPad.

Making the presentation on their balcony, Balcony Systems General Manager Lesley Woodcraft said: "Choosing a winner from so many fabulous photos was difficult, however we felt Stephen and Jo's eye-catching entry really showed off the balustrading to great effect."

Measuring nearly 20 metres long by up to two metres wide, the balcony spans the sea-facing elevation of the property and is accessed off the first-floor living room and open-plan kitchen. Featuring curves at both ends and an anodised satin finish handrail, it provides far-reaching panoramic views to England's south coast.

"The balcony is a crowning feature of the house and really transforms its whole appearance. We're absolutely delighted with it, and of course, that it has also won us such a marvellous prize in Balcony's photo competition," said Stephen.

"We saw Balcony Systems three years ago at Grand Designs and were very impressed as the product was exactly what we were looking for - nice clean lines and clear glass without clips to keep the views.

"No one else was prepared to do a curve; there was a very 'can-do' positive attitude from Balcony! They can always find a solution. The fitting team was brilliant, really excellent. So many people have admired our balcony from which we enjoy wonderful sea views."

Curved Balcony Views

Completing the three-bedroom property last summer was the fulfilment of a 38-year dream for the couple, who have four grown-up children. "Having owned the plot of land for so long, we took the decision five years ago to finally go ahead and build our own house," continued Stephen, who admitted the project was a major undertaking at their time of life.

"The house took two years to build and the glass balcony was installed right at the end of the build. It really makes a feature of the whole house, while also protecting us - and the building - from the wind. Not only does it look good, but the low-maintenance glass and aluminium materials resist corrosion - an important factor for a coastal location," he added.  The balustrade was fitted atop the galvanised steel structure, which features recycled plastic wood-effect decking with a non-slip surface.

Architect Robert Biggs of Biggs Talbot Architects, said: "It was important for the design of the balcony structure to reflect the contemporary nature of the house design as well as providing a marine theme.

"The Balcony system with its clean minimal structure lines and ability to provide curves provided an ideal solution both in terms of providing an interesting visual appearance and low maintenance."

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