BN.com Gift Guide

Courtyards: Intimate Outdoor Spaces

Overview

Few architectural elements are more closely associated with comfort, protection, and security than the courtyard-an outdoor living space that is partially or fully enclosed by walls or buildings. The courtyard became a major architectural design element almost as soon humans began constructing permanent buildings.

Scholars tell us that courtyards have been around since at least 3000 b.c. The earliest civilizations in China, the Middle East, and North Africa all had courtyards. ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$30.16
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$39.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $5.87   
  • New (4) from $9.21   
  • Used (11) from $5.87   
Sending request ...

Overview

Few architectural elements are more closely associated with comfort, protection, and security than the courtyard-an outdoor living space that is partially or fully enclosed by walls or buildings. The courtyard became a major architectural design element almost as soon humans began constructing permanent buildings.

Scholars tell us that courtyards have been around since at least 3000 b.c. The earliest civilizations in China, the Middle East, and North Africa all had courtyards. Protection was the primary function of these early courtyards, with high walls providing a shield from the weather and a barrier to marauding animals and unwanted human visitors. In later western culture, the requirements of a courtyard were looser, and any area that was partially or entirely enclosed by walls or buildings could be called a courtyard.

Today, defining a courtyard seems to depend on the elements it contains and the feelings it evokes rather than the architecture that surrounds it. The basic elements of a courtyard have always been water, walls, and sky combined to convey qualities of intimacy, security, and quiet.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586855406
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/12/2005
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Chico, California-based photographer Douglas Keister has photographed twenty-two award-winning, critically acclaimed books. His seventeen books on architecture include four books on Victorian homes (Daughter's of Painted Ladies, Painted Ladies Revisited, America's Painted Ladies and Victorian Glory); three books on bungalow homes (The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow and Outside the Bungalow), a book on 1920s whimsical homes (Storybook Style) a book about cemetery art and architecture (Going Out in Style), a book on Spanish architecture, (Red Tile Style), six books on bungalow details and Classic Cottages, that will be published by Gibbs Smith Publisher in the Spring of 2004. Keister photographed and wrote an award winning children's book (Fernando's Gift), has two monographs of his personal work (Black Rock and Driftwood Whimsy), a book on classic travel trailers, (Ready to Roll) and a book on cemetery symbolism, Stories in Stone: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Cemetery Symbolism, that will be published by Gibbs Smith Publisher in the Spring of 2004. His wealth of books on architecture has earned him the title, "America's most noted photographer of historic architecture."

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Ancient Courtyards

The best places to see true courtyards are in Middle Eastern and Chinese cities, the very places where civilization developed. The ancient Persians built many of their courtyards as miniature representations of Paradise. Each contained a water element-a fountain, well, or pool--central to the courtyard design-that provided a soothing contrast to the parched lands beyond the courtyard's walls. Some of the earliest written references to courtyards are found in the Bible. In the book of Exodus, plagues of frogs, gnats and flies invaded the usually serene Egyptian courtyards. The book of Esther contains a reference to a royal courtyard. A courtyard is used as shelter at night in both the books of Tobit and Nehemiah, and Moses instructs the Israelites to build booths in their courtyards during the feast days of the seventh month. In all, courtyards are mentioned over a dozen times in the Bible and always in the context of walled enclosures.

Roman Courtyards

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a.d. 79 buried the Italian city of Pompeii and its hapless citizens in volcanic ash, making Pompeii the best place to study perfectly preserved examples of Roman courtyards. In the ancient Roman world, courtyard houses were referred to as atrium houses. Usually lined up shoulder to shoulder on the street, these homes usually had no windows, resulting in a rather uninteresting and tedious streetscape that belied the splendor beyond the high walls. Upon entering the home, a visitor might encounter an open-roofed room that contained an impluvium, a central pool that collected rainwater from the inward-slanted roof. This small courtyard-like room served as the entrance to the main house. In back of the main house, a formal courtyard often surrounded by Greek-style colonnades would form a peristyle. These peristyle courtyards were the templates for church courtyards, called cloisters, which developed centuries later.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1

Introduction: History of the Courtyard 3

Community Courtyards 35

Courtyards in Historic Residential Architecture 55

New Courtyards 101

Water Elements 119

Big Water 133

Courtyard Lighting 141

Suggestions for Further Reading 151

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)