|The Fandango courtyard, an essentially square space (approximately 190M2) is located to the south and here the ground rises away from the house, and so the courtyard is slotted into the hillside and enclosed on two sides by the house, and on its other two sides by 2M high retaining walls. The existing courtyard was for the most part paved with 600 X 600 concrete flags and was punctuated here and there by areas of planting. The overall effect of this scheme was dull and foreboding and there was no real linkage with the garden beyond. As part of the remodelling of the house, one of the facades facing the courtyard is now a double height glazed wall, and it directly links the main living areas of the house with its outdoors. An extensive 'brise-soleil' protects the interior from the extremes of the afternoon sun.
So the challenge here was to revitalise the outdoor space, to link the house with the courtyard, and in turn the courtyard with the garden beyond. My primary device for the linkage between house and courtyard was to use the exact same floor tiles inside and outside, and my primary device for linking the courtyard with the garden and the sky beyond was to use strips of lawn and water. The strips of " lawn" are of synthetic grass as this makes for a crisper line, and it will withstand wear and tear far better than natural lawn would in this situation.
And so the tiled floor moves us seamlessly from inside to outside, and deeper into the space the tiles start to splay apart as if to reveal the grass clad earth below, here too some of the gaps in the paving are filled with still water; mirrors to the sky, and to the prevailing weather. This fanning of the pavement, along with the party mood of this space inspired me to use the title 'Fandango'. Furthest from the house is the grass-topped plinth that provides a cool and convenient seat. Behind this plinth is the brightly painted wall, and this wall is the "lip-stick" icing on the cake.
Website created by Hugh Ryan & Ewa Janczy