Courtyard Essay

636 words - 3 pages

Exterior rooms come in sundry shapes, sizes, colours, and purposes. An exterior room is constituted when a designated area in some way has been isolated from another area, whether it be divided by a wall, implied wall, a grass hedge (any vegetation), pillars, columns, level changes, etc. People have developed these exterior rooms over the years to fit many needs. An outdoor living room, for example, allows you enjoy the soothing sounds of nature while sitting in the comfort of a sofa. A specific exterior room that I am going to discuss is “the courtyard”. “Courtyard- an open area of ground surrounded by walls or buildings” (World English Dictionary, 2014). The courtyard has many purposes such as socio-cultural, security and privacy, and climate control.

Socio-cultural factors influence the design of the courtyard by reflecting the culture of the people who will be putting it to use. Daily ceremonies and rituals were often performed within the walls of the courtyard. We develop our courtyard specifically for our local needs. For example, the courtyards in the Islamic culture are going to differ from those in Chinese culture; whether it be different proportions, planes, facades, or shapes. In china they call these courtyards “siheyuan”, which is several individual houses placed around a square. Each house usually belongs to a different family member. One could compare these to modern day apartment complexes. Over the years people have realized the courtyards have been more prevalent in cultures that live a more quiet, withdrawn life.

In the residential courtyard people would use this as a space to cook, keep animals, garden, and in some cultures it was the only place for women to hangout privately, at ease. Courtyards have been used for a centralized gathering location since the Mesopotamian civilization. It is a shared open space for people to interact and...

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