Courtyard House on a Steep Site| Hutchison&Maul Architecture

Depending on the site, the design itself may have advantage and disadvantage but I like this project as it's designed to have the privilege of the site to have privacy and panoramic views by courtyard and terraces according to sloping of the site.

This courtyard house designed by Hutchison & Maul Architecture is located in Mercer Island,Wasington,USA. The site is very steep,long and narrow-50' wide by 400' long with an average slop of 35%.The site is having panoramic views west towards Seattle and the Olympic Mountains beyond. It is designed of zoning permitted construction on only 35' of the 50' property width, and limited the height of the building to 30' relative to the slope of the site.

The design has outdoor patios and courtyards cut in the hill slop to facilate
the movement of pedestrains on the site to provide natual light levels in the
primary home, and to ensure the privacy of neighboring properties.

The house consists of two parts that is a concrete pad that contains utilites used and less space and a volume hovering above the timber that contains the functions of private family rooms and bathrooms.The primary living areas are sandwiched between the wooden and concrete houses linking of windows that offer views across the level open house at the lake beyond.

To access the house, one navigates through the series of excavated exterior terraces and stairways, across water features and bridges, then down another stairway, finally arriving at a small exterior glass-enclosed courtyard in the center of the residence. This entry sequence informed the shape of the wood volume as well as the placement and configuration of the concrete retaining walls. Horizontal wood siding assembled with members of alternating depth enhance the notions of texture, shadow and perspective; contrast with the smooth concrete site walls; and ultimately heighten the journey from driveway to center of house.


The courtyard house by Studio Junction Inc. based in Toronto,Canada.The house reflects of the studio's interest in urbanism, the poetics of light and space and the detailing and craft of woodworking.You can see how the wood works are used and utilized.

The house has a simple plan yet it has the divided space of courtyard at the ground floor connecting the studio at the north west side and the living room at the two-storied block the other side. The open air terrace at second floor connecting the bath/laundry and the office (ground floor) which is open to below to it giving the natural light.

What I like is that how the light is used with craft of woodworking of this project.

Studio on the ground floor at the North West

At Courtyard foreseeing the studio

Living Room

At Courtyard foreseeing the living room

The terrace on second floor also as a playing area for kids

Natural light to office and wood cupboard at the stair

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