Word for indoor balcony?


What do you call an indoor balcony that is on the second floor? You know, where part of the second floor is cut away so you can look down and see the first floor?


Examples : 

Nov 5, 14 8:01 pm


Nov 5, 14 8:12 pm
Sarah Hamilton
Nov 5, 14 8:21 pm

I think an atrium is just a large open space in a house, and a balustrade is a railing. So those aren't quite what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is when the second floor is open to the first floor, so you can look down from the second floor into the first floor - as if you're on a balcony, but you're indoors. 

Nov 5, 14 8:32 pm


Nov 5, 14 8:32 pm

Interior balcony.

Nov 5, 14 8:50 pm

Sadly no fancy word for such a thing. 'Interior balcony' is probably the best term for this. You could also call it an 'Overlook'

Unless you hire some musicians to perform there. Then you can call it a minstrels' gallery!

Nov 5, 14 8:53 pm
Non Sequitur

That carpet in the second picture is awful.

Nov 5, 14 9:04 pm



Thanks you guys! I've been looking for a while. I'll try searching with the keyterms "Interior Balcony" and "Overlook". I already tried using "Loft", but unfortunately, that didn't seem to be quite what I was looking for. 


Thanks so much for all the help! I appreciate it. 

Nov 5, 14 9:24 pm

lol. architects... that guy is funny^

Nov 5, 14 9:36 pm
We have one, it's a loft.
Nov 5, 14 9:47 pm

If you're just looking for examples you could also try "home mezzanine". What you're describing isn't really a mezzanine, but you'll find some interesting examples which are similar enough.

Nov 5, 14 9:54 pm

That's totally a mezzanine.

Nov 5, 14 9:56 pm
Donna, mezzanine implies it's between the first and second floors, Correct? Both of those appear equal to the second floor.
Nov 5, 14 10:11 pm


1 a low-ceilinged story between two main stories of a building; especially :  an intermediate story that projects in the form of a balcony 2 a :  the lowest balcony in a theater b :  the first few rows of such a balcony

French, from Italian mezzanino, from mezzano middle, from Latin medianus middle, median
First Known Use: 1711

Nov 5, 14 10:16 pm
go do it

It's a balcony. Even if that is not the correct term or description when you mention a balcony to people in relation to residential they think of something like the pics.  


Mob rules 

Nov 5, 14 10:25 pm
vado retro

does anybody remember laughter?

Nov 5, 14 10:26 pm

Is this not a Gallery?  The word is pretentious, but seems right if we are talking about a Great Room, which is the clearly the location for this particular element.  

Both terms are defined in Chapter 1 of the Fall 2014 Parade of Homes brochure.

Nov 5, 14 11:08 pm

You could call it a gallery - but gallery is a word with many meanings, most more common than the meaning of a kind of balcony. For the OP trying to look up examples, it will be hard to find what he's looking for if he calls it a gallery.

Nov 5, 14 11:18 pm
I would call it a loft before I'd call it a gallery, but I appreciate how you're citing a source, Janosh!

The building code has a specific definition for mezzanine as a partial floor with size limits based on egress. That's how I'm thinking of it. Granted, that relates more to commercial than residential, I think.
Nov 6, 14 6:59 am
I see what you mean, CDArch, and you're right, this isn't between two floors. This is really an open corridor.

It's not a balcony.
Nov 6, 14 7:02 am

Those are usually called lofts when real estate agents and home owners talk about them (assuming you are looking from a homeowner perspective?) It is very popular in vacation condo type housing here and that is what they call it. Edit after I looked at the pics again. Loft usually implies a study or a sleeping area, not a circulation space. 

How about overlook? Or as it is often labeled on plans "open to below"?

Nov 6, 14 9:14 am
I think the first example appears to be more of a study type loft, yet I agree the second one does appear to be more of a circulation area. Perhaps the second one is more of an open corridor as Donna suggested. The only thing that distinguishes it from an upstairs hallway is that it's open.
Nov 6, 14 9:49 am

'corridor' is different than 'hall' in that it is often required to be rated and all that.  perhaps it's more of a hall than a corridor?  i suppose it is an egress component for the people on the second floor though.  if the second floor is a mezzanine, then it's considered a portion of the story below and might not scope the corridor requirements?

MEZZANINE. An intermediate level or levels between the
floor and ceiling of any story and in accordance with section

you can have a mezzanine in a single story building.  i do it all the time.

Nov 6, 14 10:05 am
won and done williams

I think you're getting a little too fancy with it. I would call both instances of what you have pictured "landings."

Nov 6, 14 11:15 am

there's no such thing as 'too fancy.'  that's like too much money in the bank, or too in-depth code review for a question that isn't asking about a code review.

Nov 6, 14 12:06 pm
Curt, doesn't that still mean that it is between the floor and ceiling? Those appear to be equal to the second floor.
Nov 6, 14 12:09 pm
Non Sequitur

CD.Arch, ceilings are not considered levels and neither are roofs, unless occupied. I know there is a paragraph somewhere in my code that permits the stacking of mezzanines essentially describing the max area in case you want a wedding-cake like grouping of mezzanines on mezzanines.

I've personally use the term open 2nd-level landing if immediately adjacent to the staircase.

Nov 6, 14 12:17 pm

cd.arch, my definition of mezzanine was literally copy/pasted from the code book.  had i typed it, i would have excluded the capital letters.

there are occasions when the difference between mezzanine and floor are important, such as height and area restrictions.  in those cases, one might hope for a more clear distinction so the plans examiner doesn't cause your project to be scrapped.  this, however, is what the code provides.

STORY. That portion of a building included between the
upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or
roof next above (also see "Basement," "Building height, "
"Grade plane" and'' mezzanine"). It is measured as the vertical
distance from top to top of two successive tiers of beams
or finished floor surfaces and, for the topmost story from the
top of the floor finish to the top of the ceiling joists or where
there is not a ceiling, to the top of the roof rafters.

Nov 6, 14 12:27 pm

That's an endogenous entresol.

Makes me wonder what all of you were doing in architecture school. Probably busy trying to get laid.

Nov 6, 14 12:30 pm


Nov 6, 14 1:12 pm

Landing. Also the 70s called, they want their stair carpet back.

Nov 6, 14 1:14 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

Depends on what you do there.

Generic?  "Gallery"

"Loft" is an inelegant word.  Loft is where you store hay.

Mar 31, 15 12:01 pm

Mezzanine, gallery if it is connecting other rooms, loft if the whole space is not sufficiently tall enough to stand in, or just a balcony

Peter N

Mar 31, 15 3:10 pm

MEZZANINE, LOFT. An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located.

IRC 2012

Who know's these photos don't tell the whole "story".

Mar 31, 15 3:38 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

Landing at the 2nd floor (or upper whatever level) or the second floor simply. Neither photos are balconies.

Mar 31, 15 6:20 pm

The images you shared of indoor balcony are so awesome. Its not looking too much fancy or over creative. Its simple and great. Good work.

Oct 13, 15 8:59 am
Non Sequitur

^ really?

Oct 13, 15 9:00 am

^ Mezzanine.. but what would you call this type of indoor balconies?

Oct 15, 15 12:21 pm

It's a vide, which is to say, a void. French "leegte." But I would use "wide landing" or "balcony" for most audiences. 

Aug 10, 17 6:12 pm

Forgive me for being obtuse, but that looks like a mezzanine to me. 

Aug 23, 17 4:17 am

IBC has some pretty specific definitions for a mezzanine.  You might call it one, but in the eyes of the code, it probably isn't. 

Aug 23, 17 7:58 am
won and done williams

LOL @ how this thread keeps returning!

Aug 23, 17 9:00 am

I would call this a vide. It's a French word for empty space, and in Europe the word is used for a partial second floor as shown in your pics.

Aug 24, 17 1:44 pm

Its a fucking mezzanine, thread closed.

Aug 25, 17 7:59 am

505.2 Mezzanines. 
mezzanine or mezzanines in compliance with Section 505.2.shall be considered a portion of the story below. Such mezzanines shall not contribute to either the building area or number of stories as regulated by Section 503.1. The area of the mezzanine shall be included in determining the fire area. The clear height above and below the mezzanine floor construction shall be not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).

505.2.1 Area limitation. 
The aggregate area of a mezzanine or mezzanines within a room shall be not greater than one-third of the floor area of that room or space in which they are located. The enclosed portion of a room shall not be included in a determination of the floor area of the room in which the mezzanine is located. In determining the allowable mezzanine area, the area of the mezzanine shall not be included in the floor area of the room.

Where a room contains both a mezzanine and an equipment platform, the aggregate area of the two raised floor levels shall be not greater than two-thirds of the floor area of that room or space in which they are located.

Aug 25, 17 8:20 am
Aug 27, 17 6:55 pm

loggia (n.) "roofed galley used as an open-air room," properly at a height of one or more stories, 1742, from Italian loggia, from French loge


A loggia is usually a passageway open to the outside of a building on one side often through a series of arches along the passageway.

Aug 27, 17 7:52 pm

Loggia should have a roof an open on one side 


Aug 27, 17 10:40 pm
I stand corrected :)

New attempt from memories of arch school and the modernist guard of teachers: entresol
Aug 28, 17 3:17 am

Yes, an entresol or mezzanine. It's the same thing, one is from French the other Italian origin.


we have one similiar to the pic and we are not fancy so we call it the "catwalk" lol. Our ☆upper interior 2nd overlanding baloftcomezzany☆ which I will now name it is well to wall over the living room and stairs hidden in front foyer

Jan 20, 18 1:08 am

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