In the traditional households of India, courtyards brought in life to the homes. Being the focal point of the house, it brought in light and ventilation inside and created a truss between the indoors and the outdoors. They were primarily the focal points of the house. Most of the rooms of the house pointed towards the courtyards, which usually became the heart of the house by being a place where everyone gathered; a living area of sorts.
Modern architecture has curated this concept of courtyard widely. The courtyards have started adding more value to the house apart from light and ventilation. They create a divide between spaces; they bring nature to the residence and add aesthetic value to space.
Here are 5 examples of how courtyards have been curated in modern households adding a different essence each time.
1. THE THREE COURTS RESIDENCE
This magnificent residence in Bangalore, India, designed for a family of four, is a strongly Vaastu driven design. With the need to accommodate the elements of life- water, earth, air, space and are in the house, three courts were introduced in the house.
Each of the three courts represents fire, earth, and water respectively while all three of them collectively bring space and air into the house. The court which captures the taste of fire is on the southern façade of the house and seizes a good amount of heat throughout the day. The court in the centre brings nature into the house.
The landscape design is done such that the outside is brought to the inside by creating a green walkway inside the house leading to this court. The third court has a small water body that enriches the aesthetics of the place by blending in with the purity and minimalistic approach of the design. The layout of the rooms of the house smoothly encompasses these courts and all come together to create a beautiful homely appeal to the place.
2. THE BRICKHOUSE WITH A COURT
This brick condominium by Bernardo Richter, built in the Curitiba, Brazil, was inspired by the holiday home designed by Alvar Alto. A large outdoor courtyard is placed in the centre of the house with the social, private, and mechanical areas of the house branching off from it. Grey stone pavers cover the patio surface, which is punctured by a large fire pit in its centre. The court caters to the conventional function of being the focal point of all the rooms of the house but also creates a space for social gatherings. It brings light and ventilation inside the house and also connects the indoors with a beautiful landscape on the outdoors.
3. THE SARPANCH HOUSE
The Sarpanch House in Talangpor (a village in Gujrat, India), is a Modern-day house with very conventional incorporation of the courtyard in the interiors. The house has 2 courts, one near the parking area, which has the stairway to the office of sarpanch, or the head of the village. It is a lowkey outdoor court to act as a transition from the outdoor entrance to the indoor workspace. It brings light and ventilation to the parking space.
The second and the primary court of the house is the heart of the residence. It encircles the activities of the house around it. It is the focal point of the house. The surrounding rooms spill out to the court, creating a living area in the centre. It is covered with a glass roof allowing a phenomenal amount of light in the place, throughout. The staircase to level two goes adjacent to this court, creating an experiential transition.
4. THE COURT HOUSE IN ARGENTINA
This residence of 90sq m, a small apartment in Buenos Aires, is a double-storeyed stay. The clients wanted to expand their space, to incorporate an office. This was done by incorporating a courtyard and enclosing it by the usable area. Another level was added for the same. The courtyard thus becomes a part of all the foyer. A beautiful olive tree in the small courtyard greets one at the entrance; the courtyard unifies the two storeys and provides a visual connection between spaces. It also provides for good light and ventilation in the apartment.
5. THE MONOLITHIC BLACK HOUSE
This monolithic black house, cladded with aluminum-zinc alloy coated steel, has a different perspective on the concept of the courtyard. There are two courts in the house, one of which unfolds when one pars the linear entrance and the other when one explores the bathrooms. The former one is a wooden deck, open to sky court which is circumcised by the open-plan layout of the house. It brings in an immense amount of light to the house, set in the woods, surrounded by trees.
One of the bathrooms of the house leads to the shower area in a small open court. It blends in with the concept of transparency followed in the designing of the house. It makes space for experiential bathing under the shade of trees beneath the open sky.
These new-day approaches and visualizations to the concept of courtyards allow for creative thinking and amalgamation of traditions to modern-day utility and aesthetics. They bring in with them, fresh air of sorts with an essence of orthodox architecture. They give scope for new ideas to mushroom taking along a piece of the old ones.