House of Many Courtyards

House of Many Courtyards

Claesson Koivisto Rune
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Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects

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House of Many Courtyards

Claesson Koivisto Rune als Architekten

Hidden just on the tree-line, behind a sandy ocean beach,the topography of the plot is characterised by soft undulation as it is formed by sand dunes conquered by vegetation. Stairs and levelled terraces were necessary for the approach to a house that would touch this nature lightly.


The building allowance was a mere 170 m2 but the wish was for a 340 m2 house. How to double the area while still adhering to the regulations?

Besides the size of the house, another requirement in the brief was for maximum privacy while maintaining contact with the beach and the horizon. Or, in other words, great views from inside but little visibility from outside. And the house itself should blend in with its setting as best as possible.


The solution came with an imaginary slicing up of an elongated box and dislocating of the parts in alternating, parallel order. Thus, ending up with a number of outwardly open courtyard terraces – one in each gap. In principle, like the camshaft in a multiple-piston engine. In the façade, each protruding box is a closed wall while full glazing is used inside the courtyards – sometimes at theirdeep end, sometimes sideways facing. Besides framing each view, the outlooks become very private.


The house has the appearance of a series of individual boxes that in reality is one interior connected via a 40-metre-long, end-to-end, central communication axis – functioning like a corridor, but in each space a part of the room. The internally glazed courtyards are perceived as a continuation of each indoor space, doubling the experienced space. Weather permitting, they can be opened up to a very large extent to actually become continuations of the rooms.


Each box was given a unique ceiling height in accordance with the function and proportion of the room, like a strand of beads of various sizes. This makes moving through the house an ever-changing spatial experience.


The materials are Petersen Kolumba brick walls, hardwood ceilings and limestone floors and terraces. The same long and flat proportion of the bricks was used in the floor-laying pattern as well as in the ceilings. The colour of the handmade bricks was matched with the local colour of the sand of the beach. The house is not camouflaged but both colour and geometry form an abstraction very true to the surrounding nature and topography.


Material Used:

1. Facade cladding- Masonary, Kolumba brick, Petersen

2. Flooring- Stone, Limestone

3. Doors- Wood

4. Windows- Steel

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Faktorenhaus Schönbach
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Faktorenhaus Schönbach

Beiersdorfer Straße 18, 02708 Schönbach, Germany - Bau abgeschlossen in 2020
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