What is courtyard housing?

In the words of Stefanos Polyzoides from the acclaimed urban design firm, Moule & Polzoides, “The rules of courtyard housing are very simple. You enter into a complex and then you direct access to the individual units from the common courtyard. All parking is underground. Apartments facing the street also have front doors onto the street.”

What are the benefits? Many…

– The building’s exterior can easily be designed to fit seamlessly into an urban fabric, as shown in yesterday’s entry.

– The most significant feature is not the building, but the space the building creates. It’s not only a communal place, but a third place as well.

– The enclosed courtyard provides a strong sense of safety and privacy, especially at night.

– It’s energy-efficient. The stone floor can absorb heat during the day and release it as the night gets cooler. The interior walls and trees provide shade on hot days, and the courtyard maximizes sunlight and ventilation for all units – each one with windows on two sides to allow cross ventilation.

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