Sydney office Aileen Sage Architects designed this house for one of its partners around a “secret garden” containing a circular patio for outdoor dining.
Aileen Sage Architects is a partnership between Amelia Sage Holliday and Isabelle Aileen Toland, and the Courtyard House – developed for Holliday and her family – is the practice’s first built project.
The home is based on the plan of an existing two-storey property from the 1880s and is situated in a conservation area in the Australian city’s Paddington neighbourhood.
The original house had undergone significant modification and its structure was irrevocably damaged by damp and termites, so the architects decided to demolish it to make way for the new building.
The new house takes the envelope and general site arrangement of the original as a starting point,” said the architects in a statement. “It re-traces the existing form, maximising access to natural light and ventilation to all rooms and in doing so reinterpreting it for today.”
At the heart of the plan is a courtyard garden that can be accessed from the main living room, dining area and a smaller lounge – flanking it on three sides.
A series of smaller courtyard spaces are accommodated elsewhere in the plan, including a narrow planted area at the end of the dining room and a green roof that spans the void between the building’s front and rear wings.
At the back of the site, the master suite is reached from the dining area via a second staircase and has access to the roof terrace above the living room.