The Next Level.

Published on 13th February 2014

Architecture, it must be said, is known for introducing fads; exposed brutalist concrete; mock-Tudor beams; the unforgiveable monstrosity of 1970s pebble-dashing; open-plan and cubbyholes. Some fads go as quickly as they come, while others find a foothold of public appreciation and gain grande dame status, either staying true to their iconic selves, or morphing over time like an impressive social chameleon, in much the same way that glass has. Of all the architectural devices though, none has had a more confused history than the atrium.

These days, most people consider atria as the preserve of the commercial building; all new hospitals have them, most schools, libraries and Government buildings too. The concept began life as something quite different however, as a popular and almost essential part of the ancient Roman home. From there they moved into Byzantine churches, pool houses and places of reflection before gaining status as a symbol of fiscal and social power. As such, the atrium’s personality is complex, some might even say pretentious, but in all their guises throughout many long centuries, atria have had one purpose at their core; the bringing of light. In the 21st Century, the atrium couldn’t be more at home.

 At Apropos we love a good atrium. While the construction can occasionally be technically challenging, with modern glass, aluminium and a wealth of experience at our disposal, and the ability to create all necessary parts ourselves, we embrace the challenge with gusto. A well crafted atrium can be more than a thing of beauty though; it can be a thing of function, fashion and fortuity, completely transforming the aspect of the home it is attached to and the lifestyle of the people who live within it.

Atrium by Apropos Conservatories

In commercial premises, atria often act as little more than extravagant entryways, but in the home they commonly return to their original Roman purpose; taking centre stage in family life and assuming the mantel of home-hub. Rather like a conservatory with a growth spurt, atria can be commissioned for any function; dining room, passageway, sitting room; allowing light and a sense of space to reach into a building’s heart.

Atria can be warm and welcoming or vast and imposing, according to your space, taste and budget, and with modern glazing you needn’t even worry about window cleaning as Pilkington Activ looks after itself.

For a consultation with one of our design experts please call: 0800 328 0033 or click here to order a copy of our latest brochure.


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