Home & Garden: Spiral Design Shows Off Center Courtyard


Rather than think of outdoor space as an interstitial zone between public and private, lovely little central courtyards like this work like exterior rooms – spatially equivalent and as significant as interior zones – especially prevalent (and ideal) in Spanish-influenced, warm-weathered Mexico.

Barroso Cortina Arquitectos is a modern firm with a flair for adding local flavor and regional considerations into small residential projects like the ones shown in a series of simple pictures here (no plans, unfortunately).

The interior garden area also supplies natural daylight to the whole one-floor interior except for the temperature-controlled wine cellar. In turn, inward-facing walls serve as visual fencing from the outside world, while green growth and architectural elements serve to provide privacy from room-to-room views across the open space.

The landscaping choices show off creative curves, reflected in the wrapping-but-rectilinear spiral of the inside/outside plan while adding some organic decor to the simple modern structural lines. This twisting motion spreads out into a dynamic asymmetrical front patio with minimalist accents.

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