The Courtyard House
This residential family home for a newly wed couple recovers traditional design, layout and technologies. The straw bale structure with mud rendered walls 45 cm wide is an efficient insulation for the cold climat of the site, it is biodegradable, made out of local materials, with no added chemicals, fire resistant, flexible, and with a lifespan of hundreds of years. In constrast, the light structured and transparent green house at the heart of the house brings in nature and generates a street like courtyard for biodiversity, food, native plants and social gatherings to strenghten the links to the sorroundings, the land, family and community.
The combination of a straw bale building, a glassed courtyard and a green roof stabilizes the indoor temperature throughout the year and eliminates the need for energy powered heating or cooling systems. The abundance of natural light sourced from the outside, the glassed green house and the ceiling, reduces the use of electric lights and gives at all times the sense of connection withe the outdoors. Water, harvested from rain sustains a lush fern landscape throught the courtyar, making the boundaries between outside and inside disappear. The same effect has the green roof, planted with native grasses and flowers, melting the house onto dht landscape.
The design is based on a modular system to save resources and give the family the flexibility to transform the residence layout and space use as the family evolves in time: rooms can become studios, the office can becom rooms, one room can become two rooms and the couryard could become living spaces. The overall design is laid out to allow it to grow at infinitum with new room additions continuing the courtyard’s length in case rooms or studios were needed for guests, family members or home offices.