Courtyard Houses, 1997
Athens, Greece

The housing units are articulated in plan and section around semi-enclosed courtyards, while the last differentiated unit consolidates the end of the block. The introverted courtyards are an integral part of each house, while the building as a whole retains a public image towards the urban environment. By multiplying the primary unit this typology can expand to a much larger scale, suggesting an alternative type of development for the outskirts of the city. The multiplicity of open, semi-open and enclosed spaces is an ideal solution for the Attic climate, as the courtyard house type is a derivative of the houses built in Athens since prehistoric times.

The ground floor of each unit opens up towards a private courtyard, generating a reciprocal field of reference. The fluidity of internal and external spaces on the ground floor is complemented by the linear arrangement of the bedrooms on the upper floor. A system of permanent louvres shelters the south-facing bedrooms from the sun and increases their sense of privacy through a narrow mediating zone.

The volumes of vertical circulation terminate with overhangs that protect the long skylights on the ground floor and define the scale of inhabitation within a regularly developed rhythm.