the sheltered courtyard
iran-based practice MAAN studio begins the story of its ‘damghan house’ with its front door. the western entrance takes shape as a narrow and stretched brick-roofed corridor, which produces a screen between the public and the private — the street and the house.
meandering through this enclosed space, the visitor reaches a small courtyard rising above the street level, from which one can see the street while maintaining privacy from the pedestrians’ sight. this elevated courtyard welcomes natural light passing through semi-private spaces of the house. the presence of both the courtyard and the entrance corridor, liberates the house from having windows shut and curtains closed perpetually, while keeping its safe private area from being disturbed by occasional passers-by. further, the spaces on the west side can enjoy a better lighting as the entrance hall together with the elevated courtyard, can perform as a filter to soften the western exposure.
visualizations courtesy of MAAN studio
maan studio’s garden oases
the architects at MAAN studio note the major challenge in the design of its damghan house — this was the process of bringing light into the northmost side of the plot which hosts the bedrooms. to resolve this, the design team organizes the main yard and the small entrance courtyard – one from the south and the other from the west — in a way that penetrates the plan along two axes. with these two outdoor gardens, the team not only brings in natural light, but also introduces natural ventilation.
these courtyards offer residents two little oases in the heart of the house. they can also be perceived as little gardens within the bedrooms, offering the beholder an eye-catching perspective towards the main yard every time the curtains are drawn. the windows of these gardens are juxtaposed in a way that the observer can oversee other segments of the house, and view through the gardens alternately, one after another.
MAAN studio’s damghan house allows its occupants a view of the sky through multiple strategies — not only from the garden courtyards, but also through skylights installed in the living room and one of the bedrooms. gazing at the sky, the vaulted ceilings — which define the identity of the house from outside — can also be observed from within. the need for light and the necessity to behold are met from within the house, encouraging introversion of spaces, while simultaneously increasing the depth of field and domination.