Courtyard homes were a ubiquitous typology throughout history, in both the East and West. Whether in Ancient Rome, China, or Egypt, courtyard homes provided one primary function - to bring families together into one “public” gathering space within the privacy of the home. And as an important byproduct, the courtyard also allows for natural daylighting throughout the spaces.
This house, first built in the 1940s with a 1960s addition, had a completely underutilized courtyard. The courtyard borders a corridor leading to the living room that cuts off natural light to the bedrooms. Through our design, we relocated the primary suite into this living room and made a family room that flanked the courtyard to provide a space that would terminate the public procession into the home before reaching the primary suite. In our schematic design process for all homes, we color code drawings to clearly indicate what is public and what is private within the home.
Gary Wang, AIA, Principal Architect