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  • Writer's pictureTim Rhodes, RA., AIA

Modern Courtyard Living

Do you dream of living in your own private park?


The Timeless Norway Hills Residence Courtyard, 20 Years After Construction


Do you have a vision of seeing and living with greenspace, trees, wildlife, and water from all the rooms of your house? Does family + community space, outdoor gatherings and a place your kids can play safely outdoors–all right in the middle of your home–excite you?

 

Rhodes Architecture + Light has developed many homes built around courtyards. We have been fortunate to work with clients who understand the life-enriching benefits of wrapping their daily living around greenspace tailored to their needs and easily accessible from their interior environments. There are several benefits to doing so including improving health, wellness, mood + psychological resilience, family and community connections.

 

Most residences in your neighborhood are based on an efficiency-driven design that maximizes your interior space in the smallest envelope. These “boxes”, set in the middle of available land, have advantages. Builders and developers strive to construct the largest floor area for the lowest cost, minimizing exterior wall and roof area. This efficiency design also results in less access and exposure to the outdoors, nature, natural light, airflow, and to the benefits of living with greenspace. From a house set in the middle of parcel of land, all the adjacent greenspace is on the outside perimeter of the house. On a standard rectangular city lot, placing the residence in the center also results in two side yards that are narrow and not very useful for gathering, a front and rear yard often adjoining busy streets and traffic and fewer interior spaces that open to nature. 



Designing purely for efficiency comes at the cost of less access to the outdoors, nature, ventilation and natural light.


Very cold climates can demand this efficient layout. Northern climates tend to generate closed “halls”­–tight boxes that gain the maximum heat from a central heat source and have minimal exterior openings. Our region’s climate is moderate and does not demand this compacting of interior space into a minimum exterior volume. In moderate climates, the benefits of natural ventilation and airflow and the prioritization of private, family and communal space inside the residential perimeter tend to drive a more open set of wings surrounding inner courts.


Box style homes are common in very cold climates where heating efficiencies are prioritized in the design. These generate closed halls with little to no connection to the outdoors.

(Clearly not a warm and beautifully lit RA+L residence.)



The advantages of this design are varied and reflect living space that emphasizes the health, wellness, comfort, and the social community of the occupants. The house built around a courtyard opens a larger wall area to exterior space and wraps several walls around greenspace and community space. Expanding floor, wall, and roof areas yields numerous benefits including enhanced ventilation, increased natural light, views, and improved access to greenspace. This expansion allows for interior spaces to seamlessly connect with the outdoors, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. Moreover, it creates private and secure outside areas that seamlessly integrate with the living environment. A courtyard allows this larger exterior space, set aside at the center of the home, to be integral to the interiors we live in. Mediterranean civilizations knew this well and developed these kinds of residences; when most people see these courtyard houses, they get excited, possibly because many past generations lived in them and there is a visceral memory of this living.

 

Alhambra de Granada. Generalife's fountain and gardens, Photographer Jose Ignacio Soto


Rhodes Architecture has designed and built many variations of houses distinguished by central courtyards–a design feature that offers several benefits which speak to the practical, social, physiological, and aesthetic aspects of living. The owners–our clients–assigned their own uses and priorities to their courtyards, and the result is rich and nurtures nature, light, airflow, family gatherings + private outdoor spaces-even gardens and the raising of communal food.

 

An owner harvesting in the garden courtyard at Anderson Gardens


On a pragmatic level, courtyard homes add privacy, natural light, ventilation, and aid outside noise reduction. Homes facing outward, toward neighbors and traffic open to urban noise; courtyards are sheltered by the home itself. They can also provide a beautiful, landscaped indoor-outdoor sanctuary that brings people together while extending the living area of the home. Courtyards play a role in enhancing health and well-being through thoughtful design that integrates elements of nature, promotes relaxation, and enriches the overall experience of living in the home. Rhodes Architecture + Light carefully examines climate, location, the environment and the way people live, work, and play in their homes to determine the courtyard location, layout and the features that best suit the homeowner’s way of life.

 

We think that the results speak for themselves.

 

Privacy + Security

 

Courtyard homes provide inherent privacy and security since central outdoor space is enclosed by the surrounding structure and is the focus of (easily monitored by) the interior spaces. The home’s primary focus is inward rather than outward toward streets. This can be especially advantageous in urban or densely populated areas where housing density is greatest. Even when security is not a primary issue, safety is inherent in enclosed greenspace naturally observed from the house.

 

When Rhodes Architecture + Light considers the home’s walls and spaces together with greenspace/courtyard layout, we position walls, screens, and vegetation to enhance privacy; Interiors view the immediate greenspace of courtyards with landscape and walls/screens as background. Some courtyards that we have designed allow a completely private play space that is gated and secure for children (as well as the older members of our families). We also consider the surrounding context and neighboring structures to minimize visual and auditory impact on greenspace, while maximizing important views. 


Magnolia Boulevard


Spring Hill Residence

Spring Hill Residence

Spring Hill Residence


Courtyard homes can be designed with security in mind; courtyards are inherently private and their enclosure itself acts as an additional barrier, deterring unauthorized access. This can be particularly advantageous for families with children or those seeking an extra layer of protection. Studies have suggested that private spaces such as courtyards are safer from crime as well (Further Reading: Oscar Newman’s works on Defensible Space and Architectural Design Guidelines for Crime Prevention).

 

Indianola Residence: A Gallery Home Integrated with an “Art-Court”


Indianoloa Residence

Indianoloa Residence

The Indianola Residence features an intimately sized courtyard that doubles as the home’s front yard. After their major renovation, the homeowners commented that neighbors were frequently stopping to admire the home. The courtyard is fully enclosed and gated and provides a buffer of privacy to keep even well-meaning neighbors within a comfortable distance-until invited inside. The home itself is designed to accommodate the owner’s significant art collection, which extends from the home into the courtyard for a truly curated artistic experience; the greenspace at the entry of the house is a focal point, a sculpture garden, a vivid collection of color, a path to the front door and a buffer.





 

City View Residence: A Home Centered on an Entry Court


City View Residence


The City View Residence utilized an existing home’s footprint and added a walled and gated entry courtyard to reclaim the front yard from the close street, creating a calm, reflective space buffering the residence. The court references Mediterranean architecture in which a courtyard is a living space, entry space, and frames views into the home while lending views out of the house a private scene that encourages doors and windows to be opened to the outdoor greenspace. The gated enclosed court is a way to add a secure private space outside this residence as well; the hillside behind the home is too steep to be accessible and flanking side yards are narrow and face neighbors, so the entry court established the best outdoor environment usable by the owners.

 

Natural Light and Ventilation

 

Rhodes Architecture + Light prioritizes greenspaces as a key element of wellness-centered design. We approach the design of courtyards, greenspace and garden areas as central to, not a left-over result of, the design of our residences. Simultaneously we carefully prioritize the kinds of spaces with access to the courtyard, opening interiors to focus on greenspace with doors, glass, operable windows-even retractable walls that offer views and easy access to greenspace and community space.

 

Having an open space at the center of the home increases access to natural light and ventilation throughout the house. This not only enhances the overall atmosphere but also reduces the reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning.

 

courtyard home, best seattle architects, landscape architecture

Norway Hills Residence


Whenever possible, based on the land’s orientation and topography, we orient the courtyard to capture prevailing breezes for natural ventilation–which in Seattle, generally come from the southwest. We design openings, doors, lower awning and upper transom and clerestory windows, to encourage natural air flow through the home, promoting a comfortable and fresh indoor environment (while reducing the days when air conditioning is necessary).


The courtyard also acts as a thermal buffer, moderating temperatures inside the home. This too contributes to energy efficiency, as the courtyard helps to naturally regulate the indoor climate, reducing the need for heating or cooling.

 

Norway Hills: Award Winning, Speculative Homes Nurturing Many Lifestyles

and Generations

 

The four Norway Hills residences, a group of linked pavilions focused on a central court, use lower and upper venting windows and multiple doors opening onto greenspace. Each pavilion entry is distinguishable and since all doors lead to the varied courtyard greenspace and gathering space, the homes occupants cross paths and meet in the inherently communal space in the middle. Rhodes Architecture + light carefully considered the courtyard space adjacent to interior functions; the western dining room opens to a gabion-walled private dining patio with evening light, the main entry is central and recessed at the center of the court to announce visitors, while the ground-level primary bedroom opens through French doors at the lowered eastern side of the courtyard, focused on a small, private sitting area framed by Japanese maples and bamboo.  


Norway Hills View of Dining Room Entrances (Photographed 20 years after construction)


Norway Hills Ground Level Main Room Entrance

Norway Hills Living Room with Two Entrances Embracing the Indoor/Outdoor Fireplace


A  flexible ”mother-in-law” pavilion, plumbed for bath and kitchenette, makes up one side of the Norway Hills courtyards, allowing two or three generations to live together in these speculative homes. A fireplace opens to the courtyard as well.


The court is the central gathering space, lending green space that links the occupants and encouraging the three pavilions to open, spill out, and take in the natural breeze. Walled and overhung with trees and planting, the courtyard is cooler in the summer as well, encouraging the opening of doors and windows to borrow the air as well as the internal views.


Norway Hills Mother-In-Law Pavilion.


In architecture, pavilion has several meanings; It may be a subsidiary building that is either positioned separately or as an attachment to a main building.


Norway Hills Views to the Courtyard with Multiple Access Points


“This is a very intelligent house…Our lives, as we move into this century, will need more spaces like this”. –Seattle Times/ American Institute of Architects: February 2002; AIA Home of the Year

 

“There are nice views from every window and several wood-framed glass doors leading outside. The airiness makes the whole home such a gathering place and we love to entertain our neighbors and friends.” –Norway Hills Homeowners

 

Norway Hills Courtyard with Lush Plantings


“These Spaces Speak to the Land, Honestly and Simply.” –Seattle Times/ American Institute of Architects: February 2002; AIA Home of the Year


Johnson Point: A Retirement Home Designed Around Courtyards

 

Rhodes Architecture + Light designed the Johnson Point Residence around three courts: An interior trellised entry garden court and a hidden drive/parking court separate vehicles from the courtyard greenspace. The guesthouse and a gym were purposely broken off the main house and set separately into the woods with a small court between; the void resulting from this separation allows the tempting view of mountains and Puget Sound during the curving approach to the home.


Johnson Point Residence


Great cross-ventilation, connections with landscape and maximum daylighting resulted from the planning approach using wings and courts. The wings of the home allow simple natural ventilation into all spaces since rooms within are not clustered or layered in depth but open to both water view and courtyard sides. And the resulting stunning views from living, kitchen, eating, and sleeping areas were turned east toward the water. The house was planned to be low and unobtrusive; a place from which to experience the land and natural environment, not a statement about the sophistication of the architecture. The final massing, interior light, and ceiling heights in the Johnson Point Residence lend the smaller, more private spaces (dining for example) intimacy and inward focus while opening larger more public spaces east to light and views of the water and the sky. 


Johnson Point Residence

 

Orientation

 

The orientation of a home with a courtyard is a crucial aspect of its design, influencing factors such as natural light, ventilation, to access greenspace, privacy, views, and overall comfort. These factors determine how the courts will be used, what spaces open to them, and the environment within the courts during different seasons and times of day.

 

We consider the regional climate and the local micro-climate when orienting courtyards. It is beneficial to position the courtyard in a way that maximizes shade during the hottest parts of the day as sunlight is directly from the west during the later afternoon and evening. In the morning and cooler months, the same sunlight is desirable; the courtyard can be oriented so that zones within it capture sunlight and provide warmth and an extended season of use.

 

Rhodes Architecture + Light positions courtyards and primary living spaces to maximize exposure to natural light, considering the orientation and potential for limited sunlight during certain seasons. Seattle experiences a temperate maritime climate with significant rainfall in the winter and spring, and we design the courtyard to be comfortable and functional throughout the year. We consider factors like sunlight angles, shading, and supplemental outdoor heating. We employ trellises, pergolas, awnings, bries soleil and strategically placed trees for shade.

 

Johnson Point Residence


We also consider the activities that will take place inside the residence, adjacent to the courtyard and within the courtyard itself and align interior spaces and their orientation accordingly. A breakfast area, for example, benefits from being adjacent to greenspace and facing east to morning light as the home’s users wake and orient to their day. If the courtyard is designed for outdoor dining or entertaining, we strive to position these near living areas and kitchen, shaded from hot afternoon sun, and often facing evening light.

 

Johnson Point Residence View from Dining Room to Courtyard


Currently In Design: Erskine Way Residence

Courtyard as the Safe Central Focus of a Design


Erksine Way Residence Site Plan

  

The West Seattle Erskine Way Residence contains two wings splayed to a central greenspace facing south. The inner court is flanked by a living pavilion to the west (which provides shade to the landscape and activities in the court) and a higher play/bedroom/home office wing to the east. The orientation of spaces was adjacent and linked to courtyard orientation (for example, the living areas open to a shaded western court, breakfast area an orientation to eastern morning light).


Erksine Way


Erksine Way


Erksine Way Residence


By dividing these spaces and functions Rhodes Architecture + Light separated more public and private spaces, created an open living-kitchen-dining pavilion, insured that all spaces have views of and access to the central court, and allowed the east wing to gain water views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains above the lower western wing.


Erksine Way Residence

 

Playful arrangements of walls, screens, and landscape secure the courtyard–one of the owner’s primary concerns. A permeable patio within the court invites gatherings of friends and family-an outdoor community, while creating a safe central park for children’s play. The owner’s central American heritage is also celebrated in the planning around a central court, the walls and screens, and in community space focused on the dedicated landscape.

 

Norway Hills I

 

At Norway Hills, a series of pavilions surrounding a courtyard, the greenspace outdoors is crucial to the plan, focusing views and lending the ability to open rooms onto the courts. Orientation is important with courts facing south toward good daylight and warmer microclimate created by the sunlight and sun path. Trellises shade and protect exterior glass allowing doors and windows to open onto the courts. The dining areas and kitchen share shaded south (daily eating) and western (evening/dinner) courtyard areas that use daylight to attract the home’s occupants to these spaces. Main bedroom suites also gain evening light from western orientation onto courts.


Norway Hills Residence


Norway Hills Residence

All of the Norway Hills plans create simple wings of linked spaces (rather than blocks of clustered spaces that result from a rectangular plan), letting all interior space live with  views, natural light and greenspace.


Indoor-Outdoor Connection + Community Space

 

Courtyards blur the distinction between indoor and outdoor living spaces, and by aligning the courtyard with key living areas, we create a strong connection between the two. This is the motivation behind opening the residence up to the court and greenspace–so that inhabitants may use both interior and outdoor space simultaneously. This promotes a closer relationship with nature and can contribute to a more relaxed and open living environment, providing documented health benefits. Learn about biophilic design and its impact on wellness in our post, "Biophilic Design in Architecture".

 

Norway Hills Residence

 

We plan for a well-designed entry sequence that leads inhabitants and visitors seamlessly from the exterior to the courtyard and into the home. We also establish clear circulation paths, and terraces and hardscapes, within the courtyard, to ensure easy access to for different uses. We believe that every room that touches the courtyard would ideally have access to it (visually in colder, rainy months as well as actually during the rest of the year as the weather allows). Gatherings of family, friends, and communities are nurtured by the focus on central greenspaces internal to and integral with the homes surrounding them. When there is a private, secure, quiet and natural space to gather, it is simply more likely that events will be staged and people come together in that space.


When designing a courtyard home, we choose materials and finishes that complement both the indoor and outdoor spaces. Consistency in materiality can create a cohesive design while also considering the durability and weather resistance of outdoor materials.

 

North Lake Washington: A Family Courtyard Built Around a Natural Watercourse

 

North Lake Washington Residence


Five acres of forest defined by hill + valley north of Seattle became the inspiration for a family home for seven designed to open to a private glade. A series of pavilions including a glass living room, a delineated bedroom wing, kitchen, family room, and a separate garage shape the entry path, courtyards, and gathering space, opening to the land and bringing the natural world into every space.


North Lake Washington Residence


The house is turned, two splayed wings, to embrace a central vale facing the southern sun. The western wing facing morning light houses a kitchen and an informal family space. The long eastern wing facing afternoon-evening light melds four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and storage with lofts above, punctuated at the end with a master suite. An open living pavilion defined by flanking cast-concrete fireplaces and glass walls greets visitors and holds living, dining, and a gathering space.


North Lake Washington Residence Main Living Area with Views to the Courtyard and Surrounding Forest


North Lake Washington Residence, View Into Living Room from Courtyard


North Lake Washington Residence, Bedroom Wing

 

Anderson Gardens: Four Homes Focused on Dedicated Garden Courts

 

Anderson Gardens is a community of four homes that surround a central, shared courtyard and garden area. With its abundant greenspace, gardens and water feature, the central courtyard provides a quiet reprieve from city life. Since 2001, eight families have gathered here and made the original Anderson’s home and land into a shared collective. The original neighborhood gave way to new families in 2010-12.


Four Anderson Gardens Homes Surround a Central Courtyard


In revisiting Anderson Gardens in the fall of 2023, we were reminded of the rich history that underpins this remarkable community. From its origins as a simple farmhouse and the birthplace of REI, to its transformation into a shared collective of homes and gardens, this special community has evolved over the decades while preserving its soul and purpose. The emphasis on community and a connection to nature remains steadfast, even more crucial in today's world. As we reflect on the past twenty years, we find a thriving oasis where vibrant gardens, welcoming spaces, and shared moments continue to define Anderson Gardens. It has become a place where neighbors gather, where nature and architecture harmoniously coexist, and where the spirit of Mary and Lloyd Anderson lives on.


After so much history it was a delight to see the land and homes again with nurturing gardens (shared and private), the soil yielding flowers, herbs and tomatoes, and the koi pond shaded by mature trees. The houses feel natural, fitted into the hillside, and cared for by another generation enjoying the greenspaces. Some changes are evident-new paint colors, added details, personalization-yet today the soul of the place is more vibrant than ever. Placing four homes at the perimeter of the land and nestling (and sharing!) central and linked greenspaces not only promotes the “community” in this community, it insures a quiet, peaceful environment in which to gather.


Read more about this unique project in our blog, "Anderson Gardens 20 Years Later: A Renovation on Historic Property".


Anderson Gardens View of Central Courtyard


Anderson Gardens View of Courtyard and Original Home


Anderson Gardens, Shared Community Garden


Anderson Gardens, Courtyard Plantings


Normandy Park: A Residence Built Around a Master Gardner’s Paradise and Life-long Garden


Normandy Park Residence Site Plan


A courtyard garden, the occupant’s main pursuit, lends heart and purpose to a common living space flanked by two bed/bath suites. This small home’s generous light, high ceilings and exposed structure celebrate the living space. This main 1500 SF pavilion (a bunkhouse and garage add 630 SF) centers on the landscape court while the home’s wings embrace the site and shelter those within. The focal garden furnishes room to plant and includes raised beds, water, and small terraces of stone paving; a place to gather + celebrate long northwest summer nights.


Normandy Park Residence

Normandy Park Residence

 

Aesthetic Appeal

 

Courtyards often serve as focal points and can be beautifully landscaped, adding aesthetic value to the property. They provide an opportunity for gardening, outdoor seating, and even the addition of water features, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the home.

Water features like fountains, ponds, or pools add a calming and reflective element to the courtyard. A careful Architect will ensure proper drainage and consider the visual and auditory impact of the water feature on the overall design.

 

Landscapes within courtyards acts as a natural air purifier, absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen. This contributes to improved respiratory health and fosters an overall healthier living environment. Integrating native and drought-tolerant landscaping into the courtyard design requires less water and contributes to the sustainability of the home and enhances the overall aesthetics. All of these features, while improving health and well-being, are a huge draw as well; we all gravitate to water, trees and plants contributing to beautiful landscaping, and gathering places set into this beauty.

 

Norway Hills II

 

20 Years ago, four speculative residences were constructed on 1-1/2 acre sites in Bothell, Washington. Over the years we have partnered with residents on landscaping projects and home renovations, and in doing so, we’ve shared in the deep sense of community that design has helped build. 

 

The buyer who purchased one of our Norway Hills homes had a vision of what this modern country house and property would eventually look like with improvements. What he didn’t know yet was that his renovations would help bring the community together in such a profound way. The improvements included building out the entire upper floor of the garage, adding a pool, waterfall, outdoor fireplace, gabion walls, landscaping lighting and an exterior entrance off of the living room.“I went back to the original architect, Rhodes Architecture + Light, when I was ready to make changes. I learned early on that they listen to their clients’ needs instead of imposing their own opinions. Their design solutions reflect that attentiveness.” –Owner


Norway Hills Residence. The later addition of a courtyard pool made this home a popular gathering place for the owners and neighboring families in this speculative development.

 

Rhodes Architecture + Light was asked to design an extensive pool complex for the land opposite the developed courtyard that was originally incorporated into the design. The owners wanted a pool court that included a lap pool with an invisible edge, a built-in hot tub, varied, tiered topography and gardens, a tactile stone garden, substantial retaining walls incorporating rock baskets or gabions, falling water, and a fire element. 

Norway Hills Residence


We developed a series of tiered levels that gave the pool complex depth and texture and allowed variegated landscape “screens” that sheltered the whole court from the road above and the neighbors. 

 

“The renovations were a resounding success. The neighbors loved the changes–so much that it evolved into the neighborhood entertainment and pool center. I’d come home from work and there would be 20 people in my pool with their kids–adults drinking wine on the deck. People still talk about it after all these years, the memories made in our small community. That’s the magic of design.” –Owner


Norway Hills Residence


Life+House: Prefabricated, Modular Homes Designed to Encourage Inner Courtyards


A Life+House Modular Home


A Life+House Modular Home


Life+House is a series of completed modules that can be linked. The variety, size and configuration of the modules lends the system flexibility while the consistent vaulted architecture and glass ensures that any combination forms a beautiful, well-lit coordinated home.

And because these modular homes are a series of linked pavilions, they naturally capture greenspace and encourage living around and open to courtyards. Allowing the creation of unique living environments centered on your landscape, including configurations as a main residence and a detached accessory dwelling unit, the main house and the DADU can share amenities such as a courtyard, garden, or common areas, fostering a sense of community.


A Life+House Modular Home

 

Noise Reduction

 

The surrounding walls and planting screens of a landscaped courtyard can help mitigate external noise, creating a more peaceful and serene living environment. And studies suggest that exposure to the sounds of nature can have positive effects on human well-being. Research indicates that natural sounds, such as flowing water, birdsong, or rustling leaves, can help reduce stress levels. Listening to these sounds has been associated with better overall mood and lower cortisol levels, which are linked to stress. [1]

 

Science has even shown that exposure to natural sounds has been linked to improved cognitive function and better sleep. It may help with tasks that require attention and concentration, as well as boost overall cognitive performance. Trees and shrubs can help absorb outside noise pollution while creating a protected, natural space for birds and other wildlife.

 

Beach Drive Residence: Entry + Family Space Gathered Around a Courtyard

 

A beach house for a family of four on Puget Sound waterfront in West Seattle features an open, carefully day lit interior in a very compact shell. A small house with big open spaces, the small footprint of the house belies the open, light-filled spaces within.

Rhodes Architecture Seattle Architects
Beach Drive Residence

Sited on a forty-foot-wide lot and replacing an old beach cottage, the Beach Drive Residence includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, open living and reading spaces, and a high playroom. A pavilion courtyard shared with the southern neighbor centers the entry side of the house. Sharing this internal greenspace expanded the landscape available to both neighbors and internalized this space, reducing impact of adjacent street noise, creating security, and making the central focus of this home a peaceful space.

Health and Well-being

 

Courtyards can contribute positively to health and well-being in several ways, providing a connection to nature, promoting relaxation, and enhancing the overall quality of living spaces. The presence of greenery and natural elements in the courtyard contributes to a healthier living environment.

 

Access to nature from the comfort of your home can positively impact mental well-being, overall quality of life and according to a study by David Rojas-Rueda–even our mortality.  A well-designed courtyard can also encourage outdoor activities, such as gardening, walking or exercising. [2]

 

Lowman Beach Residence: A Home of Linked Pavilions Enfolding Courtyards

 

Lowman Beach Residence (Center Home)


The Lowman Beach Residence is a Rhodes Architecture + Light custom home design that sits on Seattle’s Puget Sound waterfront with sweeping western views. The shoreline environment and the 42-foot-wide site drove the simple shingled “beach cottage” forms and natural weathered material pallet. The design of the house resulted too from a desire for an understated contemporary home that takes full advantage of its marine and island domain yet also folds private spaces around interior courts and opens to multiple levels of landscaped outdoor terraces. 


Lowman Beach Residence

Lowman Beach Residence

Lowman Beach Residence


Separate western (waterside), central (rain garden) and internal (guest/gym/exercise) courts create separate zones for the health and welfare of the owners and their guests. Tucked into this small site are a waterside terraces with raised flower and gardening beds, protected storage for paddle boards and water sport equipment, a raingarden that recycles the storm water produced by impervious roofs and hardscapes, and a sheltered exercise court facing the home gym. Health and well being as well as the environment are central reasons for the distinct courtyards to exist and to be used.


Harmony by Design


By carefully considering these factors, Rhodes Architecture + Light creates courtyard homes that optimize natural elements, enhance livability, and reflect the specific needs and preferences of the homeowners.

 

Beyond the physical aspects of construction, a well-designed courtyard home reflects a holistic understanding of human interaction, well-being, and the profound impact of the built environment on our daily lives. Through a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality, Rhodes Architecture + Light strives to create experiential spaces that provide the canvas for a life well-lived.




[1] Buxton, Rachel T., et al. "A Synthesis of Health Benefits of Natural Sounds and Their Distribution in National Parks." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118, no. 14, 2021, p. e2013097118, doi:10.1073/pnas.2013097118

 

[2] Rojas-Rueda, David, et al. "Green Spaces and Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies." The Lancet Planetary Health, vol. 3, no. 11, 2019, pp. e469-e477, doi:10.1016/s2542-5196(19)30215-3

 

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