Courtyard House

Azman Owens Architects, London, 2003


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Opening louvres reveal a small balcony at nearest point of the house 

Keith Collie (website)     Download Original

  • Opening louvres reveal a small balcony at nearest point of the house    
  • South elevation    
  • View from south-west    
  • The choice of limestone flooring – sanded outside, polished inside – helps create the inside/outside flow of space    
  • Planting is beginning to establish itself, to the right is a wall of stores along the flank wall of the garage    
  • The main living space opens fully onto the garden, the room walled in concrete planes. Note the eye-level window to the left looking north onto the side garden    
  • View from the entrance aligned with a distant window. To the right, a concrete wall supports cantilevered concrete stair treads    
  • Textured concrete in the en suite bathroom to the master bedroom    
  • Indoor and outdoor planes of concrete overlap in the views into the garden    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Detail section through wall and louvre shutter    
  • Wall and louvre shutter details    

Modernist courtyard house characterised by planes of exposed structural concrete in combination with timber, glass and limestone

The two-storey family home is L-shaped in plan, creating a private courtyard. On the ground floor the principal spaces open on to the courtyard through storey-height glazing. The use of the same joinery timber inside and out, and the continuous limestone flooring which is polished inside and sanded outside help these rooms flow into the garden.

On the first floor the long landing corridor is top-lit, wide enough to be lined with shelving for the clients’ extensive book collection. A run of children’s bedrooms ends in an en-suite bedroom for the parents.

Although the walls generally comprise a double skin of fully exposed cast in situ concrete complete with thermal insulation, the two walls that face the courtyard are largely glazed, with windows at first floor level and glazed doors at ground floor level.

Like the walls, the ground floor, first floor and roof are concrete slab cast in situ. The glazing, set in robust hardwood frames, is screened with storey-high louvre shutters; which modify the quality of daylight entering the rooms, contribute to privacy and act as a visual contrast to the plain solidity of the concrete walls.


  • Begun: Nov 2001
  • Completed: 2003
  • Floor area: 239m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £534,200
  • Tender date: Sep 2001
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Aberdeen Lane, London, N5 2EJ, United Kingdom

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