Courted House dissolves the threshold between landscape and domestic life. Adjacencies and immediacies between garden and dwelling occur throughout a gridded plan. Planting, sunlight and breeze are internalised through a layering of court-like rooms. This is an other-worldly place where time is defined by the sun’s path around a framed sky. A perimeter of perforated steel screens and cement panels filter the surrounding streets and neighbours. Five metre ceilings and vertical white planes play with light and shadow to enclose with generosity. Complexity comes not from the architecture itself, but from the rich ecology of life in reciprocal relationship with its surrounds.

Courted House condenses and urbanises the classic Australian wrap-around verandah by inverting the model. A central courtyard, secluded from busy surrounds, provides an interior version of “bush”. A lush garden, lit by softly reflected sunlight from the cedar-clad walls is the home’s heart. Embracing each edge of the courtyard is the kitchen, dining, lounge and entry. Rather than conventional interiors, these are four ‘courts’ with proportions, materiality and openings that make a singular composition with the external courtyard. The whole interior becomes a verandah; an outdoor interior of garden and home made inextricably one.

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew, 2015-2018 Completed. Built by A.M. Custom Builders. Structural Engineering by Cantilever. Photography by Tom Ferguson.

2019 Houses Awards, New Houses under 200m2, Shortlist
2019 Australian Interior Design Awards, Shortlist
2019 INDE. Awards, The Living Space Category, Shortlist
2019 NSW Australian Institute of Architects Residential Awards, Shortlist