Glamuzina Architects – 2013

Entry: December 2019

The Courtyard House is grounded in rural land at the foot of Mount Maude in the Otago region. The house is an enquiry into where a site begins and ends – how to define the edges of the project and the way that landscape may be inhabited. Firmly dug into the earth, its low form and simple square plan recalls the modest language of early settler buildings in the region that utilize low slung, stone construction to deal with the extreme environment.

In their written brief the clients requested “a building not built on a domestic scale, that might have been part of a bigger building that sits on the ground with weight and permanence”. The couple planned to retire to the house so spaces were described by unusual titles, such as the quiet room and the music room that represented their respective hobbies.

The courtyard bunkered in the landscape responds to the immediate context within which it is placed and allows the building to address continuous enclosure and protection from the prevailing north east wind. As Ted McCoy once commented: “The good thing about isolation [is that] one had to learn for oneself, by looking at surroundings.” The courtyard house reflects these values.