Heritage Forum

Courtyard House


Coppenhagen Street, Stellenbosch

Date Built




kr2 architects

Situated in the lush green suburb Rozendal, Stellenbosch, the Courtyard House has been designed for absolute privacy.

The house is comprised of two buildings: a living quarter, and an out-building with a garage, guest rooms, tea room and domestic quarters. These two buildings are linked with a lightweight indoor/outdoor entertainment space which borders the pool edge. These two main building parts along with the lightweight link serve to define a very intimate and tranquil courtyard space.

The design includes a number of “green” elements, such as water recycling, storage tanks and passive water heating systems, but this has been incorporated into the design without compromising architectural aesthetics.

Another concept of the plan was to arrange and express the elements of the building, namely the boundary wall, garden strip, building outer shell, the inner shell, passage, courtyard, pool and garden, as layers. This layering of spaces and elements allows for an interesting spatial experience as one circulates through the building.

The existing roof, which needed replacement was extended into the court yard to form a continuous covered walkway all round the inner courtyard edge. It serves as a subtle transitional space linking the inside to the outside. At the pool this walkway is widened to form a pool entertainment room, at the same time linking new guestrooms in the outbuilding to the main house.

Pool, planter and timber deck have been redefined by the walkway, forming a little paradise as the heart of the house.

The white brick walls have been complemented with white timber structure and a natural timber gate, coming the clean white volume of the building with warm furnishings. The interior is also kept in mostly simple and white, with very strong colour accents on feature walls and joinery. The house is a perfect answer to the needs of a young couple looking for privacy and a small but efficiently planned home, which as the same time has the potential of receiving and entertaining a large number of guests.