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Forsake me not: balcony spaces in codes and cues among on-campus apartment dwellers

Chamila Subasinghe (Department of Architecture, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 9 April 2019

Issue publication date: 24 May 2019




While some people are mindful of what a personal space that also belongs to a common façade portrays to outsiders, why other people treat this personal space as a mere utility space invisible to the public eye must be determined. International students who live in single-bedroom apartments with balconies and were mostly married were investigated regarding the meaning they attach to their balcony spaces. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


This work also hypothesized that residents of these units perceived their balconies as a liminal space that oscillates between a spatial repertoire for familiar memories and a versatile, utilitarian device for temporary storage. A naturalistic inquiry was then conducted among purposefully sampled apartment dwellers via in-depth, open-ended and semi-structured interviews.


While offering much needed spatial economy to dwellers, the cues and codes revealed that the balcony space could furnish a sense of membership to established social cohorts. The balcony space further brings an element of escape and ease into impecunious student life by means of its ability to offer a broad spectrum of spatial-aspatial needs that manifested in forms of personalizations and exploitations.


A knowledge gap in socio-cultural appropriation of on-campus apartments for sustainable redevelopment where the majority of consumers were married/partnered, international students has been investigated.



Subasinghe, C. (2019), "Forsake me not: balcony spaces in codes and cues among on-campus apartment dwellers", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 253-266.



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