Courtyard Home Design

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    • ptma- internallino
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    ptma 01sunset ptma 02sunset ptma 03deck ptma 04entry ptma 05entry ptma- internallino ptma 07bath ptma 08singleskin

    This home on the Gold Coast is designed to look outward to local views, and inward, to a central courtyard.

    View from Entry door through into central courtyard, with pine forest in background. by ptma Architecture.

    The mix of photos included are from the construction period, to be updated.

    The central court is designed to be completed over time, to suit the occupants’ lifestyles.  Options range from :

    • leaving the court open to sun, moon and stars, (but also to rain, wind, birds and flies) or simple fixed flyscreen
    • low tech seasonal roof, or
    • automatic retractable or operable roofs (ranging from canvas roofs, vergolas or full operable insulated roofs) or
    • a full fixed roof with highlight windows for light, ventilation and views.

    The home wraps around the hidden court to provide privacy for it’s occupants.  This also ‘anchors’ the house to the earth.  This can assist the thermal comfort of the rooms surrounding.

    In summer a shaded court is able to provide a cool place to retreat from sun.  In winter the open court can catch midday sun and store this, linking the house to the more constant temperatures of the earth.

    It also provides a secure and private play space for a family.

    Internal Courtyard to home, view from bedroom, over home to forest beyond. By ptma Architecture.

    The main deck and living areas face north and are the public face of the home: toward the street and local views.  These step down to a rolling landscape in front of the home, to reconnect to a sloping site.  The owners designed their own Corten steel balustrade to compliment the deck.

    Corten steel balustrade being installed. Designed / selected by the client this allows personalisation of the family space in the home.


    The home functions are simply divided between main living functions, parents wing, and childrens wing.  All of which open to the court, with common access from cars and storage areas.

    View from kitchen court to central court in home, with wrapping decks linking the spaces. Oversize recycled doors allowing the spaces to open. By ptma Architecture

    The design of the court recognises that the home is located in a semi-rural area.  It is dark at night when the moon isn’t full.  The decks are designed with contrasting timber species to highlight steps and edges.

    Deck detailing highlights edges and direction for navigation in lower light, where the different timber species and board direction stands out. By ptma Architecture

    Internally the home is designed with a mix of more typical, modern construction (plasterboard), with single skin construction to selected areas, reminiscent of Queensland’s past.

    ‘Single Skin’ construction to selected areas of the home, reminiscent of a more traditional Queensland construction. This exposes the bones of the house, including the structure and services which allow the house to stand and function. By ptma Architecture.

    The main spaces of the home are set up for connection of hydronic heating.  Pipes buried in the floor slab are an efficient and sustainable space heating alternative.  This can be connected to different heat sources to suit location and budget.  It doesn’t take up room in the house like portable heaters, runs more efficiently than air conditioning (depending on the heat source), and doesn’t emit odours of gases in contrast to wood or gas fireplaces.

    Pipework laid on insulation, in preparation for the concrete slab to allow the hydronic heating system for the home. by ptma Architecture


    The floors are then finished with a mixture of carpets and Linoleum (a sustainable alternative to vinyl, which is an oil based product.  Lino is made from more natural mix of ingredients and has changed markedly from the product from the 60s and 70s!)

    Linoleum floor over concrete bed (and hydronic heating pipes) through living spaces is softer under foot than polished concrete but still allows enjoyment of some of the heat (in winter) and cool (in summer) stored in the slab underneath. by ptma Architecture

    A matching set of recycled doors were sourced for this home, and are featured in different rooms in the house.  The oversize doors allow rooms to be opened up to connect to those adjacent, and out to the courtyard.

    Oversize recycled timber and glass doors provide separation between master bedroom and ensuite, and other spaces in the home. Additional film can be added to glass to achieve the degree of privacy and transperancy and light desired between different spaces. by ptma Architecture.

    The fans in key rooms are Big Ass ‘Haiku’ fans.  They are more efficient than typical fans, and push more air around the room, with less wobble and noise.


    The photos in this post are from during construction.