Working with its signature material base, FGR Architects creates Courtyard House – a concrete dwelling with a functional and airy interior. Shielded from the street, the minimal home enables natural ventilation and a sunlit landscape.
A low-profile building, Courtyard House represents a structural shift from the local built environment; an intriguing blur in the pattern of gable-roof constructions. Set back into its site, the concrete residence embraces its curious contextual standing, cultivating a sense of privacy whilst opening its grounds to the natural northern sunlight. The façade is guarded by an imposing concrete fence that – through unity of material – appears as if to interlock with the house itself, leaving only a singular room within view of the street. Upon approach, the architecture of Courtyard House outlines a sequence of 90 degree turns that leads residents from the footpath to the main entry of the home – the process serves to introduce the idea of connectivity, which defines the residential experience.
Internally, Courtyard House has a practical focus, articulated through a considered arrangement of spaces. The impressive depth of the property can be appreciated through a continuous sightline from the entryway to the back garden. To the right of the entrance, a formal living room is designed as a personal sanctuary; architecturally distinct from the main body of the home, the room cantilevers over the driveway, snugly fitting the width of the external space. Moving through the house, an open living-kitchen-dining area unfolds, engaging the back garden via large, sliding glass doors. The bedrooms without direct garden access enjoy adjoining interior courtyards that offer a privatised outdoor experience. Whilst visually generous, the layout of Courtyard House also intentionally fosters passive solar heating and natural ventilation.
The material palette of the residence sees concrete, stone and American oak frequently used to create a gently dynamic home. Concrete features heavily in projects by FGR Architects, celebrated for the ways its subtle tone and texture is revealed under sunlight. In Courtyard House, polished concrete floors echo the façade, creating synergy between exterior and interior whilst enhancing the effect of the materiality. Stone is used in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room, paying homage to the colour of the concrete in a fresh combination of grey and white. American oak joinery completes the home, providing a warm counterpart to the cooler hues and mirroring the precision expressed by the external architecture.
Though unique and compelling, Courtyard House is ultimately understated. Demonstrating its skill in concrete and light play, FGR Architects creates a practical and elegant home that complements the lifestyle of its residents.