houses

A Compact Home With A Central Courtyard

This compact Sao Paulo house was cleverly reconfigured around a central courtyard, bringing light, air – and beautiful new hanging garden – into the home.

Supplied/Ricardo Bassetti

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

This Sao Paulo house was recently redesigned by architect duo Amanda Castro and Giovana Giosa, from Brazilian firm Studio AG, for a recently married couple. 

An architect and restaurauteur, the homeowners enjoy hosting guests. The main goal for the house was for it to fully integrate to the surrounding environment and gain a feeling of spaciousness – the original structure was old and segmented into a number of small rooms.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

By contrast, the redesigned space is bright and airy and includes a central courtyard and an open-plan kitchen, providing areas that can be enjoyed with friends. 

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

The house is semi-detached and its complete overhaul was made possible through the elimination of the service corridor: that space was integrated into the new layout.

This meant that light and ventilation needed to be integrated into the home through alternative sources. The smart solution? An inner, central courtyard was created to function as a light source – plus, to further increase the amount of natural light, the eaves at the back of the house were removed. 

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

A vertical green wall was created in the central courtyard, bringing nature into the house, and the glass walkway installed on the upper level provides an opportunity for its enjoyment across both ground and upper floors.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

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The overhaul of the original house required some structural reinforcements, and therefore a sequence of metal beams was installed post-demolition to support the old walls, all while revealing the original skeleton of the house.

Together with the clients, Castro and Giosa 'decided to expose the new beams and highlight the juxtaposition of the original segmented floorplan and the newly designed space'. 

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

Then, the architects add, they also 'reconceptuali[sed] the vertical spaces in the house, [so] we were able to transform the two bedrooms on the upper floor into two suites. There was no immediate need for an additional room, [but] we decided to plan ahead for that possibility. Thus, we left the infrastructure needed at the upper deck that could possibly be reconfigured into a third suite [at a later date].' 

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Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

A light color scheme was chosen throughout the house in order for natural light to be reflected and to create a brighter ambiance throughout all of its various areas.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

Say the architects, 'We opted for tiled floors on the ground floor in order to facilitate cleaning and maintenance. The laundry, powder room, and pantry are clad with American oak in order to bring warmth to these spaces.' The central courtyard also has a natural wood floor, which has been allowed to age naturally.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

The interior design and furnishings explore a range of different textures, including straw, steel, stone and wood, as well as vibrant fabrics, in order to counterbalance the minimalist architecture.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure

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For more information about Studio AG and to check out a range of their other projects, visit their website.

Central Courtyard | House and Leisure