Courtyard Living: Contemporary Houses of the Asia-Pacific
by Charmaine Chan (Thames & Hudson)
While the term ‘courtyard house' might conjure a particular typology, author and former South China Morning Post design editor Charmaine Chan considers it more in terms of the ‘conceptual and amorphous as well as visual and functional', allowing her to focus on a more contemporary selection of homes — in this case in the Asia Pacific region. This beautiful volume features 25 such courtyard homes, which are appropriately given plenty of space to breathe, with comprehensive photo treatments alongside plans and substantive commentary.
The regional focus becomes manifest in the categories into which the homes are divided. One chapter deals with introverted homes in built-up areas, another with multigenerational dwellings; there are homes with sightlines connecting them to their geographies, others in which the courtyard provides essential light and ventilation to mediate the natural or built environment, and some that transcend the outside-in cliché in contemporary riffs on Tropical Modernism.