Courtyard homes were the urban housing model of South Asia for centuries. And these were the result of structural and building evolution of thousands of years of building homes in this kind of climate and topography. Therefore they are the building type that is most suitable for the climatic as well as social context of the region. As new towns and cities spring up they unfortunately follow a western more alien model of suburban home which niether suitable for our climate nor our cultural context of family living. We have hence tried to reintroduce modern urban courtyard housing for more resilient South Asian cities.
Outdoor Sleeping in the cool night breeze during the warm weather was another common practice in Pakistan but as security and privacy became more important in our society over the years, this practice slowly faded leading to increased need of air conditioning and as a result energy consumption during summer nights. Therefore we tried to design a contemporary form of outdoor sleeping in small rooftop sun rooms on top of each individual bedroom. This provided both the privacy and security that merely sleeping on rooftops did not and hence is a more viable option in today's Pakistani society.
The building is based on a concrete framed structure, according to earthquake resistance bye laws of Islamabad, and then infilled with rammed earth walls. The wall thickness is a minimum of 15 inches for providing enough thermal mass for climate comfort. The courtyard effect created with the pool and vegetation in the courtyard is accentuated by giving large windows towards the courtyard to bring in cool air and ventilators on the outer walls to let warm air escape from their. In this way a convection current is maintained during the day time.
Sun-rooms have been designed in the mezzanine space above each of the en suite bathrooms. A personal staircase from each bedroom leads to its exclusive sun room that can be used as a heat trap in winters and a breezy semi outdoor sleeping area in the summers merely by opening the windows and ventilators.
Ar. Zoona Jerral
Ar. Syed Saqib Shah