A balustrade acts as a railing as well as the support of any low wall structures such as a staircase, bridge or a balcony; it also doubles as a decorative feature. Since balustrades are strong as well as low-standing, they allow for safe viewing. You should be able to lean on a balustrade and still be able to look out. We can’t really imagine a bridge or a balcony without a balustrade, can we?
Today, we take the existence of these structures for granted, from a safety & decorative viewpoint. The concept of balustrades isn’t a modern one; in fact it is found in a number of ancient buildings across the world. The origin of the actual term – baluster comes from a very unexpected source – it’s derived from ‘Balustra’ which is an Italian word that means pomegranate flower.
Traditionally, balustras used to be shaped like a pomegranate flower bud. This particular shape was later used in a variety of elements including candlesticks and furniture and of course the trend of designing staircase balustrades and railings in this design, continues to this day. Let’s take a peek into balustrade history.
Balustrades – How they evolved
As mentioned earlier, balustrades have been used across the world for a number of centuries and that’s exactly what makes them such an interesting topic. Different types of old balustrades have been found in Assyria and India. The ones in the former are considered to be some of the oldest examples of these features.
Even in the Renaissance period, the popularity of balustrades never waned and they were used in a form that’s commonly used even to this day. The various buildings that Bernini and Michelangelo designed, as well as Italy’s Medici palace include this element in their structures. Traditionally, clay and wood were used to make balustrades; these materials were easily available at the time and were widely used as building materials.
Modern Day Balustrades
Over time, new materials and building techniques and technology came into being and today, it’s common to find balustrades made of stone, wood, glass, steel as well as a range of other robust materials. Glass is an extremely versatile material and most modern-style buildings boast railings/balustrades made of glass and steel. These add to the expansiveness of the space, provide the support and safety required, without hampering the view.
No wonder then that a lot of architects and builders are partial to using this material in their projects. You will see glass and steel balustrades on individual home structures as well as high rises in cities. Most people fail to realise that balustrades have a 2-fold purpose – they are primarily installed for safety and become a decorative finishing feature for staircases, balconies, terraces, eaves and buildings; they can be custom-designed to complement the look of your home or commercial establishment.
About balustrade installation in Australia
In Australia, there are stringent rules in place when it comes to construction of balustrades; and there are a number of aspects that have to be kept in view while installing them. If you are considering installation of balustrades on your new build or are getting older ones replaced, it’s important that your contractor keep these regulations in view.
We at Quantum Frameless Glass are one of the leading companies in this space, and design and install glass balustrades. We are very particular with maintaining high quality standards in any project we handle and ensure that the features we install are in line with Building Codes and Standards requirements. For more information about our products, call us at this number – 1300 282 248. You can also contact us using this online form.
Thanks for reading,
Quantum Frameless Glass Team
1300 282 248