Courtyard House

A historic Italianate terrace once a boarding house has been reconfigured by Cox Architecture to accommodate the 21st century needs of a mature family in Sydney, Australia.

  • Year 2020
  • Location Sydney, Australia,
  • Type House,
  • Courtyard House commenced life in 1885 as a generously proportioned Italianate terrace in the Toxteth Estate of Glebe. During the interwar period, like many dwellings in Glebe, it underwent significant unsympathetic alteration into a boarding house.

    In reconfiguring it back into a single dwelling, the ambition was to create a courtyard house that afforded much better amenity than the typical terrace typology.

    Organised around a central sunny north-east facing courtyard, conceptually based on the Riad – a traditional Moroccan house with an interior shady cool garden court – all interior spaces seamlessly interface with the courtyard. The green courtyard is the physical and conceptual heart of the dwelling. By contrast – and like a Riad – its exterior is robust and sever in its restraint and lack of embellishment.

    The house is ideal for the mature family with two teenage sons – enabling both retreat and engagement.

    Design: Cox Architecture
    Photography: Robert Walsh