TUM start-up flissade

“Living room or balcony? Both!”

In cities like Munich, flats with balconies are popular but expensive. And often there isn’t enough space. Two TUM Alumni have found an award-winning solution. Now they want to use it to transform not just Munich, but large cities around the world.

The sun is shining outside the window by the dining table. Wouldn’t it be nice to have breakfast on the balcony? Thanks to the invention of Lisbeth Fischbacher and Daniel Hoheneder, this wish can come true in seconds: the large glass planes of their façade system flissade can be pushed aside, quickly and simply transforming the room into a balcony.

The basic idea of flissade – a convertible loggia that can function both as a balcony and a part of a heatable inner room – was developed by Fischbacher and Hoheneder in a seminar at what used to be the institute for Building Climate Control and Services. When the two architecture students presented their project, their professor, Gerhard Hausladen, who was usually fond of discussion, said nothing at all. “Silence,” recalls Hoheneder. “That could mean two things: either we were talking complete rubbish or our idea was great.”

The idea didn’t only make a good impression – it was a genuine innovation. It solved a well-known problem: the convertible loggia not only expanded the living room when required, but also saved energy. The window façade, which can be pushed back to the outer wall of the balcony in the winter, eliminates the “cooling-fin effect” and utilizes the sunlight that warms the room, saving further energy.

From dining room to balcony – the flissade façade system.

Push the glass panels to one side – ready: the flissade dining room transforms into a balcony in the blink of an eye (Photo: ©flissade GmbH).

The façade system has since been patented. “Professor Hausladen supported our idea enthusiastically from the beginning,” says Lisbeth Fischbacher. He was able to provide useful contacts and became a mentor for EXIST founders’ scholarship that funded the start-up, christened “flissade” by Fischbacher and Hoheneder. In 2016 the founders won the Bavaraian Innovation Prize and in 2017 the Munich and Bavarian Founders’ Prizes.

We’re interested in improving urban living space.

“We never really saw our task as architects to be the realization of particular construction projects,” say the founders. “We’re interested in a structural change and improving urban living space.” With flissade they want to make balcony spaces usable at all times of year – even in the winter.

In Munich’s Maxvorstadt, Hoheneder and Fischbacher constructed their first instant balcony in a flat that they today use as an office. At the moment, they are involved in constructing the first balcony in another building: the pilot project – flats for the public utilities in Dantebad – should be completed in December 2018. Perhaps we’ll then see balconies transforming more frequently – not just in Munich, but around the world.