© 2008

Courtyard Houses

A Housing Typology

  • Authors

Table of contents

About this book


The waywe live is a directtransformation of social structures, politics, religi­ onandtoposand, as such, mirrors society. Methodsof construction andma­ terials employed turn thevarioustypes of residential dwellings into products of the conditionsof their context, e.g. the immediate spatial surroundings, the climate, flora and fauna, etc. Thus, complex house types evolved such as the Greek and Roman peristyle house, the Chinese and Islamiccourtyard house and the various European farmhouse types. The urban structures of districts and housing developments in cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Amster­ dam, Paris or Venice werefounded on the typological particularities of their residential buildings. Inthe ageof globalisation, it seems that the characteristics of the different types of dwellings with their particular regional features have been forgot­ ten.Technical innovationsenable andencourage the disappearance of local, passive regulatory systems that weresimpleandecological. Onesimple residential house type is the Black Forest house, which represents a cultural form of living, working, security, and continuity. This house type effectively reacts onthe given conditions, exploitspossibilities, andcombines afarmyard, stable, harvest shed anddwellingto form oneunit underasingle roof.It is adirectimageof thesocialstructure within itscultural andeconomic context. Season-related dailywork routines permeate shape, function and structure of the house and result in an authentic and ecologic house type that is simple yet highlycomplex.


Buildings Courtyard house Housing Typology Residential building building design housing living living space project

About the authors

Günter Pfeifer is a professor of design and residential building at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Darmstadt University of Technology). As a practicing architect he has worked with Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, and others. He taught design and building construction for ten years and is active today in the intelligent, energy-saving, sustainable development of existing building types.

Dipl.-Ing. Per Brauneck is a teacher and researcher at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Darmstadt University of Technology).

Together they have already published the book Exposed Concrete: Technology and Design (Birkhäuser Verlag).

Bibliographic information