Woollahra Courtyard House by CO-AP
This inspiring courtyard house redesigned in 2018 by CO-AP is located in Sydney, Australia.
A new four bedroom home has been designed for an empty nester couple and three generations of extended family visitors. Built on the site of a 1970s single storey courtyard house, the former dwelling was designed with a gabled roof in keeping with a neighbouring weatherboard cottage which presently no longer exists. Taking cues from its predecessor the new house is planned around a courtyard and responds to its current neighbouring context of two storey dwellings.
A series of skylights and clerestory windows puncture the concrete roof over the ground floor allowing daylight deep into living spaces and internal rooms. The geometry of these punctures follows the form of the upper storey, of which the parallelogram plan aims at retaining the amenity of the two adjacent properties. Vertical articulation of windows responds to the rhythm of fenestration along the established residential street and the use of masonry, concrete and metal cladding clearly define the architectural elements of the new building.
Parking for two cars, cellar, laundry and abundant storage are accommodated in the basement level, with access to the rear lane. Internally, materials are figured, natural and robust. Strong horizontal planes of board-form concrete and terrazzo unify the living spaces. Australian hardwoods are used for joinery and bedroom floors. A variety of figured stones, naturally lit by skylights, are featured in bathrooms throughout the house. A sculptural painted steel staircase travels through all levels of the new home.
Photography by Ross Honeysett