A New Loggia Renaissance: Explaining and Identifying Loggia in NYC

A New Loggia Renaissance: Explaining and Identifying Loggia in NYC

A New Loggia Renaissance: Explaining and Identifying Loggia in NYC

If you’re visiting TheTerraceExperts.com, you probably already know the difference between a terrace and a balcony (for a refresher, click here). But can you tell the difference between a terrace and a loggia?


Loggia (the singular is the same word as the plural) are covered corridors running the length of a building, but they’re different from patios and porches. Most loggia have one wall that’s open to the air. Views are framed with columns and arches, often creating beautifully-demarcated outdoor rooms.

A classic gothic loggia—part of the Castello Buonconsiglio in Trento, Italy.

Roman in origin, they were originally used much like porches are today—ancient Romans wanted an escape from the oppressive summer heat, a way to be outdoors and enjoy a passing breeze without having to sit in the hot sun. In ancient Roman homes, loggia were usually found on the ground level encircling exposed central courtyards. Renaissance architects used loggia for the same practical reasons, and some of the best-preserved (and loveliest) loggia from centuries ago are still enjoyed today in Italy.


While less-elaborate loggia never disappeared in many regions (and have been used as practical home features for centuries), loggia on a grander scale are making a comeback in high-end penthouse architecture in New York and throughout the world. Roman and Italian architecture usually positioned loggia on the ground floor, but more recent uses see it moving into the sky.

David Adjaye’s design for 130 William features arches throughout the structure that invert to become gracious loggia in high-rise residences.

Some older Manhattan buildings used rooftop loggia as elegant disguises for water towers and utilities. Newer developments take a more amenity-driven approach, outfitting penthouses with luxurious loggia to create outdoor living/dining areas.

The loggia at 30 Park Place feature soaring ceilings accented by giant, streamlined columns.

Many of Manhattan’s most notable new developments in recent years have used loggia (rather than terraces or balconies) to add outdoor elements to penthouses. 130 William, 30 Park Place, 277 Fifth Avenue and 16 West 40th Street are just a few of the city’s hot new properties to use loggia as high-end residential outdoor features.

The penthouse loggia at 277 Fifth Avenue, a new development designed by Rafael Viñoly, are tucked into the building’s corner.


Technically, no—even though they’re very similar and sometimes hard to tell apart. Terraces are setback structures that are open to the air (although they may have awnings or pergolas). Loggia always have roofs and supporting columns. Where terraces make use of open space created by a setback, loggia support structures above—their pillars serve a purpose beyond simple beauty.

Loggia are also not balconies—where balconies protrude from the side of a building, loggia are always built atop another level, on a setback or on ground level (like terraces). So, while loggia and terraces are different, loggia are closer to terraces than to balconies—and much like terraces, loggia are often more spacious and optimized for indoor-outdoor living. However, loggia are much less common than terraces and are just beginning to grow in popularity. 


ODA Architects released renderings in 2015 for the East 44th Street Tower, which uses abstract, futuristic loggia to support the structure between floor blocks.


TTE’s sole focus thus far has been, appropriately enough, terraces. However, as loggia grow in popularity in Manhattan, we’re considering expanding our scope to include information and resources for loggia owners/seekers, especially given the similarities between loggia and terraces.

Are you interested in bringing loggia into The Terrace Experts’ sphere? Reply, comment or get in touch and let us know what you think.

The triplex penthouses at the Bryant, a new development at 16 West 40th Street, feature dining rooms that open into loggia, creating indoor/outdoor entertaining space.

Article header credit: ODA Architects