With 84.7% of Australians living in cities with between 100,000 and 1 million inhabitants, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. Between 1996 and 2016, Australia’s population grew by 6 million people overall, with 75% of that growth occurring in capital cities - indicating a significant tendency for people to settle in urban areas. 

In the wake of urbanisation and increasing population density in Australian cities, the needs of city dwellers have been changing. With more people sharing urban spaces, the importance of having privacy in a home - and affording that privacy to other city cohabitants - has been essential for Australians living in the proverbial big smoke. Reflecting the needs of consumers, it’s also been a consideration for architects, designers and suppliers seeking to create sustainable urban spaces.

Shutters are a fantastic way to maximise privacy for residents and their neighbours whilst improving security and providing greater control over the amount of sunlight entering a space. They offer versatile design options, are low maintenance and can make a bright, airy addition to a dwelling by fully or partially enclosing spaces like balconies. 

In a recent project, OpenShutters collaborated with Carrington Build / CSA Architects to bring renewed life to a balcony space that not only elevated the overall aesthetic of the property and maximised access to natural light but also increased safety profile and ensured that the stringent Development Application conditions for privacy were met. 

The project required the full enclosure of a first floor balcony with high performance aluminium plantation style shutters. In order to restrict overlooking onto the neighbouring property, the DA specified for the shutter blades to be positioned in a particular way and be limited to a specific range of movement. 

The project came with numerous challenges - in the upper section, it was imperative that the blades remain operable for light and air flow purposes, but had to close downwards and be restricted to a maximum horizontal position in order to achieve the privacy condition. In the lower section - again for privacy - the blades had to be fixed in a closed position facing downwards to the inside. In addition to that, the return panels at each end of the balcony required operable blades in a parallelogram in shape in order to follow the angles of the roof. 

OpenShutters met these challenges head on. In addition to careful planning for the overall site, the project required the manufacture of a customised set of privacy screens to fit the specialised angles of the parallelogram. Since aluminium cannot be planned or adjusted in the same way as other materials, it was of utmost importance to ensure that both the measurements and resulting panel cuts were precise. 

The requirement for downward fixed blades on the lower section caused issues with drainage - the water would run off the inside of the shutter blade, leaving excess water on the balcony floor. In order to overcome this, the team worked closely with the builder in order to incorporate a customised lower channel into the overall drainage design. 

Through exceptional attention to detail and unmatched expertise in selecting the right materials, the project was delivered on time and to the highest standard. The right choice of product, robust planning and a smart and collaborative approach to the project was paramount in ensuring the strict safety and privacy requirements were met in a stylish execution that improved the overall quality of life of the occupants. 

From a complex brief, OpenShutters created a sleek, stylish and durable solution that transformed a space and complied with the stringent requirements of the DA.

OpenShutters are one of the top Australian suppliers of bespoke shutters, including timber shutters, aluminium shutters, louvres and screens. Click here to check out their product range and see if are suitable for your next project.