Designed to respond to the context of El Paso’s formidable and diverse topographical personality, the Courtyard House is a place for family to gather and entertain. Sited next to the client’s existing home of cast-in-place concrete, this new addition was envisioned as an entertaining and living space. With the Franklin mountains as the backdrop and a suburban neighborhood as the immediate context, a large-scale addition was appropriate to the vast setting. The Courtyard House’s materiality, including concrete, stone and Corten steel, connects the project to the existing home through a large courtyard. In addition to serving as the connecting element between old and new, the courtyard acts as storm water retention and is defined by gabion walls, which are seen throughout the project to define indoor/outdoor courtyard spaces.
The courtyard organizes the family’s activities: A pool, an orchard, an outdoor kitchen and 8-foot overhangs shading expanses of glass ensure a welcoming vibe. Inside the new concrete structure, two offices, a home gym, a spa and a garage for a car collection make a meaningful destination. Interior walls of quarter-sawn walnut and slatted wood ceilings contrast with the harder exterior surfaces, creating a mellow interior and a much-needed respite from the harsh El Paso climate.