Coutyard – as a design element
Out of the all the elements of design in architecture, courtyard has a profound impact over its surrounding space and its users. They have been an integral part of Architectural language since ages. Its existence dates back since when dwelling spaces were innovated by the mankind.
Courtyards have a unique effect on its surrounding space. There are two broad classifications of how does courtyard serve as an important introduction in architecture.
A. Physical attributes
B. Intangible effects
While talking about its physical attributes we may say that primarily, courtyards acts as a thermostat for its surroundings. It adjusts to the climate change and balances out the heat and cold. courtyard also makes itself a focal point for all the social activities and gatherings.
It does justice to the sentence that a courtyard or a central open space, the void as we say, is world within a world. Here is where the intangible plays its role. It is seen and felt clearly that though the space is a void in itself it gives meaning to its surrounding spaces and without which those spaces wouldn’t have been as important and approachable as they are with the introduction of a court.
Let me you give you one very interesting example of importance of courtyards in indian architecture.have you ever watched any south indian movies? funny right? but it is the most common and relatable example. they have these beautiful wooden houses made with mahogany, teak ,rose wood and sometimes pine wood with slopped roofs. They have this open space after the main entry where you have seen the basil(tulsi) plant. yes you got it right. According to the indian vaastu it is a space which is believed to be ‘brahmasthal’, soul of the house. It is also believed that the cosmic energies are gathered here in the central void.
With all the above speculation and an insight to how important a courtyard can be it is seen that courtyards are a mandatory introduction to any space built in the past present and future. Its importance can never be overshadowed or faded.