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Rotch Library Exhibit

Balconies Balconies Balconies

February 16, 2024 - March 29, 2024

Poster for the Balconies show displaying show information on a red background.


Balcony provides a very peculiar type of sociality in buildings.

Oscillates between the personal and the public, it is neither oversharing nor withdrawing into complete seclusion.

Regionally, balconies manifest in diverse adaptations. The Baltic boast soviet balconies with personalized features such as extended walls and fabrics, catering both privacy and thermal comfort. The Mediterranean elaborate historic balconies into vibrant social hubs, serving as communal bars and doubling as stages for performances. The Korean treats their balconies as front doors for logistics and moving furniture.

Inspired by these social and spatial nuances inherent in balconies, HONMI have studied eight different types of balconies around the world and is bringing these distinct qualities back in the MIT campus.

Reimagining a “new” balcony, that is not the construction of an extended platform from a façade but rather as the conversion of in-between spaces into a “balcony-like” setting that is both interior and exterior, natural, and artificial.

MIT’s main campus presents numerous opportunities for these interventions. Particularly where the brick wall and window of building 7 meets the Rotch Library, the wall, previously an exterior façade sat right beside the elevator facing inward to the library, became a site that could be converted into a place of gathering and sharing.

Here we present research of eight balconies in eight buildings, with eight stories written in eight zines and an Eight-pointed asterisk table for eight faculty and students.

Reception: February 16, 2024

Curators: HONMI, Bryan Wong (SMArchS Urbanism ‘24), and Namhi Kwun (SMArchS Urbanism, MCP ’25)

Special thanks to Mohamad Nahleh, Miho Mazereeuw, and J. Yolande Daniels. Graphic Design by Ka Ming Lee.