Courtyard House


Photographer: Lachlan Moore

The design of courtyard house was strongly informed by the existing traditional building on the site. The bedrooms and snug are contained to the existing building, while the new addition includes new living areas and utilities. The client brief required retaining the existing building with the new addition to continue the spatial proportions and sense of scale. The existing orchard, south westerly views, and strong atmospheric elements were important considerations in the design.

The courtyard is inserted into the centre axis dictated by the formality of the existing house, overlapping into the central passage. As you enter the front door and move through the hallway, the inhabitant can see through to the new addition via a glass framed portal, into the courtyard, the kitchen and orchard beyond. The main living spaces wrap around this void allowing maximum light and connection with the sky. The building graduates with levels with the natural fall of the site.

Large parallel sliding glass walls allow the occupant to engage directly with the landscape through framed views. The user can re-interpret the spatial flow and control the large weather variations throughout the site by sliding the walls. Retractable flyscreens are concealed within the walls to allow full use of the sliding windows.




The main living area and 12m cabinetry wall forms the spine of the building, anchoring the building to the south-west aspect and providing a 180degree view of the landscape through an oversized picture window. A small outdoor space adjacent allows cross ventilation through the main living space.

Externally the addition contrasts the existing building, designed to fade into the landscape over time. The front elevation is purposefully modest, as the garage interconnects with the homestead, disguised in timber. The new addition creates a protected outdoor dining area to the North East.


2012 / Courtyard House Project – Shortlisted
Residential design, Australian Interior Design Awards.

2012 / Courtyard House Project – Shortlisted
Residential Alteration + Addition over 200sqm, Houses Awards.

08 / 2014 Gippsland Country Life   /  Split Personality

09 / 2012 Houses, Issue 87   /  Courtyard House   /  View