The aptly named Courtyard House in Eugene, Oregon, is built around a central garden planted with native species. The layout, says Andrew Heid, who designed the house as a long-term residence for his parents, is meant to “bring people together.” The transparent atrium enhances passive solar heat gain, while bringing light and air into the building's subterranean spaces.
The team of architects at Blouin Tardif employed a common strategy for lightening up one of Montreal's classic quadruplex houses: the center of the structure was carved out to create a glass-enclosed staircase highlighted by a large Velux skylight.
In El Salvador, architect José Roberto Paredes created an eclectic and inviting light-filled beach house by eliminating walls and incorporating a series of interior gardens. “The doors open to a surprise space, like a secret pathway,” he says of the painted sliding doors.
A central atrium is the heart of this industrial renovation in Portland, which combines both private and public functions, doing flexible duty as a home, artist studio, and concert hall. The former warehouse is full of natural light thanks to 11 skylights and the glass atrium, which houses a vine maple tree and hammock.
In Melbourne, a heritage Victorian was given a renovation that transformed it into a bright family home with nips and tucks that include the addition of skylights at the top of the stairs. This double-height stairwell marks the transition from the historic building to the new renovation.
Custom skylights by DeFauw Design+Fabrication set above scissor trusses let in enough sunlight for a veritable jungle of taro, fig, and bamboo to grow from a cut-out in this Shotcrete dining pavilion in Sonoma County, California.