Hamilton Courtyard House


The design for this home sprouted from a pair of existing neighbouring timber cottages. The brief was to link the houses in a way to create a more generous family home that better accommodated the client’s needs.

It was important that connectivity was considered throughout the home, and a single storey option was preferred, a reaction to the coldness and disconnection felt in some larger houses. Living spaces should be integrated to accomodate entertaining while still allowing for more intimate, individual experiences, and should be connected to the outdoors, providing a safe environment for the kids to play in view of the house. Privacy, particularly for these outdoor spaces, was a concern due to a three storey neighbour on the western boundary.

Despite the proposed unification of the cottages and the clients’ wish for a street front double car garage, it was important that the existing scale be maintained in consideration to the streetscape.

The result is a celebration of the courtyard, a generous central area that unites the wings of the house and promotes visibility, allowing the occupants to remain connected to each other even while engaged in individual tasks. The importance of the courtyard’s role in the house is duly acknowledged with the main entry. An intimately scaled passage leads off the street, opening out not into the home but onto the private and calming courtyard garden.

Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones.


Lighting: Euroluce, Brightgreen, LuxR, Hunza. Finishes: The Brick Pit, Kennedy’s Timber, James Hardie, Deco Systems. Fittings & Fixtures: Phoenix.