Main Street House is a sensational multi-story modern property that has been designed by Robertson Design, situated in Houston, Texas. This residence is prominently situated at the convergence of two major streets and fronts the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, which has wings designed by Mies van der Rohe and Rafael Moneo. Formally, the house is composed of three volumes, which create a u-shaped courtyard to the rear. This courtyard, which is the heart of the building, is connected to the life of the Museum District through the large, fully glazed walls of the living room.
Photos: Benjamin Hill Photography
Franco Residence is a warm and elegant home design recently completed by KZ Architecture, located in a small beach neighborhood of Golden Beach, Florida. An expression of Modernism in the tropics, this residence was one of the last single family enclaves along South Florida’s coast line. The home was developed for a family of six on an infill island lot fronting the Intracoastal Waterway.
With adjacent homes to the North and the South, the house is designed around a Western courtyard, with all the rooms, including the living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast, family room and bedrooms organized around it. A series of outdoor spaces was developed in order to weave a continuity of spaces and materials from the street to the water. Starting at the covered entry path, the visitor is engaged by the intimate outdoor front courtyard, which connects through the great room of the house to the rear covered outdoor spaces that front the water views.
The long and narrow pool serves as the focal element in the courtyard, just like the sculptural stair serves this purpose for the great room inside. In both outdoor and indoor spaces, the two slate walls—the one framing the entrance and the one in the rear that cloaks the BAR-B-Q –are in dialogue with each other to emphasize the continuity from front to back. The sequence culminates with the wooden dock which evokes the entry courtyard of the same material. The same wood, Ipe, also frames the geometry of the balconies on the second floor.
Large projecting canopies allow for protected sun light to envelope every corner of the house. Clearstory glass penetrates the office area in the master bedroom and the access area to the children’s bedrooms on the second floor. Overall, horizontal and vertical planes of glass, stone, wood and white stucco are activated by the pervading light to accomplish an indoor-outdoor integration of spaces and form.
The front of the house expresses the larger two story volume in the background with the one story elements in the foreground , flanking the slate stone wall.
View of the rear courtyard, (excluding the metal canopy) with all the spaces in the house organized around it. The linear pool offers the focal element, balanced by another slate wall that contains the BAR-B-Q grill within.
Photos: Robin Hill Photography
This beautiful hillside residence has been designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, sited to engage the undulating hillside and to capture the spectacular views of Mount Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay, located in Kentfield, California. A curved retaining wall follows the contours of the hillside and anchors the house to the steep site. This 5,900 square foot house is tucked under the living roof, which visually merges the house with the land. Growing out of the hillside, the roof is carved away to form a protected courtyard for the swimming pool.
Three volumes housing the living room, kitchen-dining area, and master bedroom rise up above the living roof with shed roofs angled to capture the sun for photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house incorporates passive and active heating and cooling systems, battery storage, and a cistern for water runoff management.
Photos: David Wakely Photography
Building an interior courtyard design into your home, spaces defined by walls on four sides, draws natural light and air of the outdoors into the center of your residence. These spaces may seem unnecessary with front and back yards, but they offer a Zen like quality that can bring a tremendous amount of pleasure to the homeowner. Having an interior courtyard in your home can filter sunlight into areas of the home that may not otherwise have natural light. In conjunction with well-planned landscaping, this area can seem like a private oasis protected from neighbors with a patch of ground and some sky that allows you a connection to the outdoors. We have gathered together a collection of inspiring examples of interior courtyards that may make them essential in your next renovation project!
If you are looking for further inspiration on bringing the outdoors into your home, have a look at one of our past articles, 60 Most sensational sunroom design inspirations.
Photo Sources: 1. HAHN Design, 2. Guz Architects, 3. Ong & Ong, 4. Russell Builders Inc., 5. Linebox Studio, 6. Nuevo Estilo, 7. Max Brunner, 8. Ehrlich Architects, 9. MESH Architectures, 10. Ikea Family Live Magazine, 11. Real Estate AU, 12. Flickr, 13. Bourne Blue Architecture, 14. Koch Architects, 15. Robeson Design, 16. Ron Neal Lighting Design, 17. Cornerstone Architects, 18. Studio Aiko, 19. Raymond Jungles Inc., 20. South Coast Architects, 21. Pinterest, 22. Studio Mumbai Architects, 23. MMTRA visualization, 24. Sennikoff Architects, 25. Alexandre Parent Photography, 26. SG Livingpod, 27. South Coast Architects, 28. Kappe + DU Architects, 29. Artisan Builds, 30. Dirk Denison Architects, 31. Elle Decor, 32. The Front Door Architecture, 33. John Maniscalco Architecture, 34. Vanguard Studio Inc., 35. Allen Associates, 36. Spinnaker Development, 37. Elevation Architectural Studios, 38. Celebrity Communities, 39. Conrad Design Group, 40. Spinnaker Development, 41. Sutton Suzuki Architects, 42. Window World, 43. Jarosz Architect, 44. Laidlaw Schultz Architects, 45. Cornerstone Architects, 46. Pacific Western Painting, 47. Celebrity Communities, 48. Thompson Custom Homes, 49. Antonio Martins Interior Design, 50. Celebrity Communities, 51. Sennikoff Architects, 52. FormLA Landscaping, 53. Fratantoni Luxury Estates, 54. Harrison Design Associates, 55. MVN Arquitectos, 56. Secret Gardens, 57. Inspired Property Designs, 58. Falling Waters Landscape
Float House is a modern single story, private residence that has been envisioned by Pitsou Kedem Architects, situated in Tel Aviv, Israel. The architectural concept was to create a structure with a continuous, wide space, divided by internal courtyards and movable partitions into smaller spaces used for a variety of different functions. The different spaces and internal courtyards are joined together into one structure by two, ultra-thin roofs supported at one central point, seeming to float in the air. The home offers a beautiful open concept floor plan consisting of 5,920 square feet (550 square meters) of living space.
The two roofs merge, one into the other and extend for five meters over the building front walls. The entire roof is constructed from lightweight materials and, in order to provide a thin, wispy look at its edges, it is constructed with a moderate slop towards its center.
The structure itself is constructed from a series of spaces that are conceivably internal and conceivably external spaces. The entrance is framed with a wall of wooden slats which constitute what could be considered the initial boundary between the outside and the inside.
A ribbon window running along the building’s facades serves to emphasize the roof floating above the structure walls and cancels out the feeling of mass that its size suggests.
A long, narrow reflection pool follows the structure’s walls, reflecting and emphasizing their covering and texture.
When entering the space, we pass through a space resembling an entrance lobby – again, conceivably internal and conceivably external – which embodies the soft seam between the outside and inside areas.
Whilst walking through the entrance lobby space, we cross a transparent pool, studded with large basalt rocks and trees that seem to float on the water. As we enter the entrance lobby, we experience the illusion that the house is floating and being reflected, just as the roof appears to be floating above the structures walls.
Photos: Amit Geron
This rustic canyon house has been designed for a family comprised of three generations by Chu+Gooding Architects, set within a tranquil canyon in Santa Monica, California. The 5,600 square foot residence was honed to a dual courtyard plan to retain the old growth scenario of California Sycamores and Live Oaks. Private realms for the six individuals and variously scaled communal spaces accommodate the social complexities of tri-generational domestic arrangements. Five different living levels were created with varying archetypal dwelling conditions all with direct access to the beautiful outdoor spaces.
Photos: Nils Timm
Ottawa River House is a single family modern property in a picturesque natural setting along the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada by Christopher Simmonds Architect. Moving throughout this home, one enjoys a carefully orchestrated sequence of encounters with views and light penetrating the spatial composition throughout its interlocking interior volumes.
The starting point for the planning of this house was to identify a place on the site which afforded a view of Parliament Hill, and to locate the principal living spaces there. An elongated entry with a natural cedar planked ceiling brings visitors by way of the southerly courtyard to the very core of the site and the home. The result is a home with stunning views, and which enjoys both an intimate connection with the courtyard and a more expansive connection with the river.
Flooring is a combination of white porcelain tile and dark stained, quarter-sawn oak. Cabinets in dark stained ash contrast similarly with the white quartz countertops.
This home received awards for: Best Custom Home, 4,000 to 5,999 square feet, GOHBA 2013 and Best Custom Bathroom, 91 square feet and over, GOHBA 2013.
Photos: Double Space Photography
Oban House is a modern property showcasing a natural and organic material pallet by building company AGUSHI, teaming up with Workroom Design in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The client wanted a low maintenance home that not only has a natural and organic material pallet but also has a slightly industrial, yet warm feel. The residence accommodates two living zones, study, kitchen with butler’s pantry, four bedrooms with three bathrooms and a separate upstairs living zone. The two levels of the house are accessed by a lift and the house offers a rarity for South Yarra being a generous two car off street garage.
Positioned on only 5,166 (square feet) 480 square meters of land, this house at 3,982 square feet (370 square meters) of living and garage offer a highly unique experience for inner city Melbourne living. The spaces are large without feeling cavernous and the abundant use of glazing brings so much natural light into the home that ones feels like they are outside as much as they are inside.
Outside is an 8 meter pool and north east facing garden, tiled alfresco area for outdoor entertainment and discreet plant and equipment area. The house is orientated around a central courtyard providing northern light into the two living areas and a smaller north courtyard fills the study with a bright landscaped outlook.
Externally the house is largely rendered in a Roman finished render offering a crazed patina look and has a kind of fortress appeal with only one front facing window which is covered by operable louvred screen to protect the bedroom from the harsh afternoon sun. The lower section of the house is largely comprised of floor to ceiling windows and black Zinc cladding conceals the garage.
Internally natural and blackened American Oak is abundant in the joinery and wall paneling whilst European oak and travertine dominate the floor finishes. An Oak battened ceiling gives the dining and alfresco areas a distinct sense of separation from the open plan design. Off form concrete walls and structural columns, and oxidized steel cladding in bathrooms give an industrial touch with Calacutta marble offsetting this industrial feel with a lux enhancement.
Photos: Courtesy of AGUSHI
Casa del Agua is a single family home where water serves as the main design element, designed by a.a.a Almazán y Arquitectos Asociados, situated in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Water is used as inspiration for the design of this home and through the use of well-defined volumes are habitable spaces, with high ceilings and intermediate courtyards, which through ventilation and lighting of walkways, will be achieved, effects of light and spaciousness to the interior, making the most of natural light. Sustainable features were also used in this project to respond to the needs of the client, giving comfort, savings and efficiency of resources.
With finishes of marble, wood and white walls, manage to make spaces of great comfort, simplicity and elegance. Each space has a luminous atmosphere that emphasizes and integrates the furniture, that harmonizes with the various finishes.
The house is uprooted in an area of 22,970 (2,134 square meters), with 16,146 square feet (1,500 square meters) of constructed area and has 11,593 square feet (1,077 square meters) of garden, which create a pleasant environment, together with the use of water, they make different views by integrating the exterior with the interior.
With excellent use of space, the house is distributed on two levels and a basement. In the first level, a wooden deck nearly 17 meters long, surrounded by water, a fountain and a planter, which distributed the passage to different spaces, we find: A guest bedroom with bathroom and terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, later, the lobby with the guest bathroom, study, dining room, illuminated by a large window that overlooks a terrace breakfast area overlooking the rear garden, the room, overlooking the swimming pool located in the back of the house, a kitchen and a front room surrounded by indoor gardens that offer plenty of space.
The second level has private spaces divided into three areas, one is the master bedroom overlooking the rear garden. Another is home to a study, family room and a bedroom with bathroom, divided by two large voids and in the third, three bedrooms with terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, located at the main entrance.
Finally a basement divided into two areas, one consisting of a ballroom and champagne service, guest bathroom, cinema room, covered terrace and cellar for garden furniture. In the other, the area of services, consisting of laundry, chauffeurs, wine accessories and diving equipment, hydro-pneumatic room, bath service garden, cistern of 37 m3 and an electrical substation.
Photos: Jorge Moreno