An internal courtyard adds a special element to homes that have incorporated them into their design. They can bring a tremendous amount of joy to those lucky enough to make use of the space, offering a connection to nature and the outdoors, inviting sunlight into what might otherwise be a dark space, or help make a space feel bigger, all within the privacy of your own house. Often incorporating a design inspired by Japanese minimalism and zen gardens, they can create a peaceful oasis for the occupants; a retreat from the world, right at home. From London to Delhi, these internal courtyard designs make best use of the small space they have, drawing influence from all corners of the globe.
With internal courtyards comes relaxation, and with relaxation comes water. This minimalist subterranean pool and internal courtyard are part of a refurbishment of a luxury residence in Chelsea, west London. Designed by the London Swimming Pool Company, the key to this basement pool area and garden was to ensure the space was as well lit as it could be, which is possible due to atria at both ends, and with smart lighting and mirrors for when the sun goes down. This garden certainly draws inspiration from Japanese garden design, with gravel, rocks and flame trees, creating a zen-like mood.
Overlooking Winchester in the south of England is this luxurious four bedroom house, which has been given the name “4 Views”. A project of AR Design Studio, the spectacular home derives its title from the views it offers of the city, and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Wherever there is no view of the outside, you are never far from a view of the internal courtyard. Interestingly, the internal courtyard is part of the upper level of the home, rather than the ground floor; a unique design concept not often adopted.
Travel to warmer parts of the world, and you will find luxurious villas and holiday retreats often incorporate an internal garden of some description into their bathrooms. This is certainly the case for this home on the outskirts of the Indian capital New Delhi, whose entire design has been conceived with internal courtyards in mind. Featuring several courtyards, including multiple bathroom courtyards, the calming effects of nature are never far for the lucky home owners. To see the entire home, including internal courtyards, click here.
In Madrid, minimalism meets fitness in this monochrome, concrete-dominant gym with adjacent courtyard. With no distractions to keep you on focus whilst working out, and with light flooding in via the courtyard, this basement is something of a minimalist's dream.
Any space, no matter how big or small, is always a good place for a garden. This internal courtyard in Italy utilises the tiny amount of space available to maximum effect, with foliage coming from both planters on the ground, as well as hanging vines. These hanging vines are a great way to utilise the otherwise bare wall, helping feel more connected to the outdoors.
A garage, loft, and internal courtyard are probably three terms you thought you would never hear in the same sentence. However, in this loft conversion, an internal courtyard and garage are the two focal points of the project. Located in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the owner has chosen to use an internal courtyard again to access natural light, and to divide the private areas from the more social areas. Rather than leaving the car outside, in this conversion, it can literally be parked in the middle of the living room.