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From Boarding House to Family Home – COX Director Joe Agius’ ‘Courtyard House’

Courtyard House commenced life in 1885 as a generously proportioned Italianate terrace in the Toxteth Estate of Glebe. During the interwar period, like many dwellings in Glebe, it underwent significant unsympathetic alteration into a boarding house.

In reconfiguring it back into a single dwelling, the ambition was to create a courtyard house that afforded much better amenity than the typical terrace typology.

Organised around a central sunny north-east facing courtyard, conceptually based on the Riad – a traditional Moroccan house with an interior shady cool garden court – all interior spaces seamlessly interface with the courtyard. The green courtyard is the physical and conceptual heart of the dwelling. By contrast – and like a Riad – its exterior is robust and sever in its restraint and lack of embellishment.

The house is ideal for the mature family with two teenage sons – enabling both retreat and engagement.

COX Director and homeowner, Joe Agius

The design for the house embraces the ideal of adaptability – it is designed to ‘transform’ easily between three modes – single generous 4 bedroom home, two 2 bedroom homes, and a large 2 bedroom home with a separate studio. This adaptability is designed-in – including all building services – it challenges the ‘fixed’ way in which design our housing stock, potentially addressing challenges of housing affordability.

This project was recently shortlisted in the 2020 Houses Awards in the House Alteration and Addition over 200m2 category.

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