AtelierSUN | The Courtyard House – 2016 Best of Canada Award

The Courtyard House – 2016 Best of Canada Award

AtelierSUN was commissioned for the architectural and interior design of a new detached house in the east York region, Toronto.  The request was to design a two storey residential building that serves as a modern, cozy and playful environment for friends and family gatherings, as well as a peaceful and enjoyable space for daily life.

Because of the limited lot area with a request of a large scale house, the interior designer immediately thought about an indoor courtyard to bring greenness, light and shadow inside the house. A double height ceiling interior courtyard was at the center of the house with a series of landscapes and bamboo to integrate outdoor nature with indoor dwelling. The kitchen, dining room, living room, tea room and study room were placed and stacked around the central courtyard to give users visual access. Rooms are stacked and arranged around the central courtyard, creating a vertical village like spatial relationship while providing a certain degree of privacy. Stairs were located adjacent to the courtyard, providing access to all floor levels. Family members can communicate across the courtyard and maintain visibility of each other. With large windows placed at four sides of the building, and the skylight on top of the central courtyard, this stacked spatial planning enables light to stream into the entire house. Natural materials are used to infuse harmony into the space.

The architecture façade is divided into five stacked pieces with different façade angles, which carry the same design language. Adding interest to the street, this façade also enjoys different angles of view to the inside.

The design successfully provides a cozy and peaceful place by creating an interior courtyard as an in-between space that blurs the boundary of outside and in. The resulting space provides a unique living experience and enhances the interaction between users and nature, while effectively meeting the client’s directives.