Melbourne architecture firm Edwards Moore’s insertion of two internal courtyard gardens into the existing fabric of a small and narrow urban house might at first seem counterintuitive. With limited space, does it make sense to carve more out?
Designed to distribute daylight and ventilation evenly through the difficult-to-reach areas of a long and narrow site in Fitzroy, Melbourne—13 by 75 feet and originally built as a worker’s cottage—the two garden courtyards pull off a difficult feat. The large glass doors create an additional circulation zone throughout the courtyards while allowing continuous through-views as well, making the seemingly connected spaces seem bigger than they actually are. Clever and ingenious? We think so.
Above: Light is drawn into the living room through a window to the first courtyard. The open bookcases are reminiscent of wood framing.
Above: The fireplace mantel is a reminder of the cottage's past.
Above: Large full-height glass doors open out into the first courtyard.
Above: Access to the bedroom beyond is either through the naturally-lit hall or the courtyard.
Above: A raw, unfinished aesthetic runs throughout the house, underlining the continuity of the spaces.
Above: A brass backsplash behind the sink brings unexpected glamour to the kitchen.
Above: An open and airy through-view from the back of the house to the front.
Above: With borrowed light and space from the garden courtyard, the bedroom and hall feel bigger.
Above: Concrete floors complete the raw and unfinished aesthetic.
Above: The bedroom doors open straight onto the courtyard garden.
Above: A three-dimensional model illustrates the series of spaces and the interrelationship between the interior and exterior spaces.
Did you notice the brass backsplash Edwards Moore used in the kitchen? See 91 more examples of how brass is used in interiors in our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces. Also see 5 Favorites: Brass Faucets for the Kitchen. Another Melbourne discovery? Read about flower shop and cafe Fowler's Flowers on Gardenista.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 24, 2013 as part of our Australia by Design issue.