Courtyard Housing

Located seven miles south of the historic city center of Guatemala City, the project consists of twelve courtyard housing typologies located within a new urban development. The overall site is an elevated plateau flanked by an ecological preserve to the southwest that affords commanding views of the existing city and surrounding landscape.

The design for the various patio houses is guided by two primary concerns. The first is the exploration of the courtyard as the principal organizing element of design. In Guatemala, the courtyard house is the basic building block of Antigua and continued to be used in the development of residential architecture throughout the country up until the Second World War. The new designs recover the use of the courtyard in the development of new housing typologies for the contemporary city. The courtyard is explored at a variety of scales and compositions; and in each instance, it is a lushly planted, well-defined, outdoor room that serves as an extension of the principal spaces of the house.

The second consideration is the desire to relate the individual courtyard houses to the surrounding context by carefully choreographing the designs in response to the particulars of the given site. Each new house capitalizes on the urban setting by creating a unique sequence of indoor/outdoor spaces that often culminate in loggias that provide dramatic framed views of the iconic Volcanoes in the distance.

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