Design Anthology

Courtyard Living: Contempora­ry Houses of the Asia-Pacific

by Charmaine Chan (Thames & Hudson)

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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.

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