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Courtyard: The Latest Architecture and News

Polished, Private, and Passive: Traditional Courtyard Houses and their Timeless Architectural Features

We have seen in recent residential projects the need for bringing the outdoors inside, whether it's through green walls, biophilic designs, or interior courtyards, especially in countries with dry and hot climates. When it comes to countries of the Arab world, creating these outdoor-inspired inner spaces is a lot more than just bringing in some sunlight and fresh air, it is an architectural expression of a rich culture that transcended generations and inspired nations beyond their borders. In this article, we will explore how cultural and social norms influenced the creation of traditional courtyard houses in Arabian countries and how their unique architectural features were reimagined in modern contexts.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)By Ali A Suliman . Image via ShutterstockCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)Iwan . Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)+ 19

Chinese Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Reimagines Traditional Multi-family Courtyards

Titled "Yuan-er, a Courtyard-ology: From the Mega to the Micro", the Chinese pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia answers the question of how architecture can contribute to equality, connectivity and unity by resorting to familiar Chinese residential typologies. Curated by Zhang Li, the pavilion will be on display from May 22nd to November 21st, 2021.

Courtesy of TeamMinusCourtesy of TeamMinusCourtesy of TeamMinusCourtesy of The Palace Museum+ 5

Structural Details As Seen in Courtyards

House Between Pines / XPIRAL. Image Holmberg House / Estudio Borrachia. Image Tacuari House / moarqs. Image Patio House / Ezequiel Spinelli + Facundo S. López. Image + 21

The distribution of natural light, improved ventilation, and the propensity to connect  living spaces with the outdoors while maintaining the privacy of the inhabitants have made courtyards a go-to in architectural design around the world over the centuries.

Courtyards are characterized as outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces that are enclosed within the walls of a house or building.

Tube Houses: 15 Projects Reinterpreting the Narrow Vietnamese Residences

Walking down the streets of cities like Hanoi and Saigon in Vietnam, you might encounter houses with surprisingly narrow facades in contrast to the stacking of three to five floors, with windows for ventilation and natural light only on the front facade. These are the famous traditional Tube Houses. According to ancient popular culture, this type of housing emerged due to property taxes being based on the width of the facade, but the true reason is to optimize land use, allowing a larger number of plots in the same square.

However, this legacy is now being recreated in contemporary designs by Vietnamese architects. Old facades give way to innovative solutions featuring atriums for natural lighting and ventilation, courtyards and interior gardens, greenery incorporated into different environments, split-levels, etc., allowing for high-quality spaces. With that in mind, we have put together a selection of Tube Houses, together with their respective section drawings. Check out below:

Courtyards in Peruvian Houses: 10 Projects and their Floor Plans

Casa Gato / Martin Dulanto. Image M+L House / Domenack Arquitectos. Image Cachalotes House / Oscar Gonzalez Moix. Image Casa Patios / Riofrio+Rodrigo Arquitectos. Image + 21

With the exception of some areas, within the three principal regions of Peru--coastal, mountain, and rainforest--the climate is characterized as tropical or subtropical and the differences in summer and winter temperatures is minimal, rarely reaching beyond 15 °C and 27 °C. This mild climate has thinned the line between exterior and interior spaces, a fact evident in the region's architecture. 

Houses in Ecuador: 10 Homes Designed Around Courtyards

Quinta López Cordero / Astudillo + Proaño. Image House Among Trees / El Sindicato Arquitectura. Image Loma House / Iván Quizhpe Arquitectos. Image House in La Marca / Marco Salazar Valle. Image + 21

Inner courtyards and gardens can provide many benefits, such as natural light, better ventilation, and increased contact with nature without losing privacy. 

Twisting Courtyard / ARCHSTUDIO

Kitchen. Image © Weiqi JinRoom - tearoom mode. Image © Weiqi JinDetails. Image © Weiqi JinReception area. Image © Weiqi Jin+ 32

Beijing, China
  • Architects: ARCHSTUDIO
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  161
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Song Guochao

HS House / Saransh

© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project
© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project

© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project© Ishita Sitwala | The Fishy Project+ 31

Ahmedabad, India

Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat / Neri&Hu Design and Research Office

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute

© Pedro Pegenaute© Pedro Pegenaute© Pedro Pegenaute© Pedro Pegenaute+ 38

Yangzhou, China

Houses with Side Patios: Bountiful Natural Light and Ventilation

House 7x37 / CR2 ArquiteturaCasa RL / COA AssociadosBrooklin House / Galeria ArquitetosGranja Julieta House / Jamelo Arquitetura+ 21

Patios and gardens play a crucial role in a project's planning and layout. In some instances, they serve as organizing elements while in others, they improve the quality of life in a space by providing light, ventilation, and a connection to the outdoors while maintaining the privacy of the inhabitants. 

Best Modern Examples of Ancient Courtyard Renovations in China

Chinese courtyard houses are one of the most common housing typologies spanning all the way from the northern capital of Beijing to the poetic southern cities Hangzhou and back to the picturesque regions of Yunnan. Typically referred as heyuan, these courtyards homes are simply a “yard enclosed on four sides."

Micro-Yuan’er / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © Mingming ZhangCave House in Loess Plateau / hyperSity Architects. Image Courtesy of hyperSity ArchitectsFuchun Kosa Zou Ma Lou / Atelier Archmixing. Image Courtesy of Atelier ArchmixingTwisting Courtyard / ARCHSTUDIO. Image © Weiqi Jin + Ning Wang+ 18

Green Balconies: Gardens with Altitude

25 Green / Luciano Pia. Image  Lorena Building / Lucia Manzano Arquitetura + Paisagismo. Image  PRV 843 Building / JL arquitectos. Image Bosco Verticale / Stefano Boeri Architetti. Image + 22

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through the world's urban centers, governments worldwide are urging citizens to hunker down at home in a bid to quell the virus' spread. For apartment dwellers under quarantine, balconies have become the new platforms for entertainment and social interaction, making now an opportune moment in rethinking how we design and build these outdoor urban spaces.

Patio Vivo: Transforming Schoolyards into Learning Landscapes

The Patio Vivo Foundation seeks to promote active free play, positive and healthy relationships, wellbeing and contact with nature by articulating space, community and the culture of kindergarten and school playgrounds. In the following article, they describe their working methodology in their own words.

Ten Courtyard House / Atelier ZAI

Public courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu
Public courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu

Courtyard added after renovation. Image © Kunpeng LiuEntrance front yard. Image © Kunpeng LiuRestaurant and workspace. Image © Kunpeng LiuViewing public courtyard from room courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu+ 24

Beijing, China
  • Architects: Atelier ZAI
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  280
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Courtyard House in the North Cashijiang / xian Architects

© Ting Bai© Ting Bai© Ting Bai© Ting Bai+ 40

Beijing, China
  • Architects: xian Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  430
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Flos, A+Cafe, ming, thrudesign-ming

Dwelling in Hutong / MINOR lab

office space. Image © Hao Chenguestroom. Image © Hao Chencourtyard view. Image © Hao Chenview from roof top to the courtyard (in autumn). Image © Yichi Wang+ 31

  • Architects: MINOR lab
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  115
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: HAINING GENSIN, colorpanel

Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab

side view of office space at ground level. Image © Hao Chenexhibition space. Image © Yi-Chi Wangview from exhibition space to office through courtyard. Image © Hao Chenfront view from hutong. Image © Hao Chen+ 48

  • Architects: MINOR lab
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  255
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Covestro Polymers, SHUOLOONG, SIMEY