Courtyard developments Print

Design Outcome

​​​​​​​​​​​​Design Checklist​

  1. The benefits of integrating a courtyard within a development are considered when assessing the potential layout of a site​
  2. The intended function of a courtyard is considered and reflected in its design and integration within the development


A courtyard configuration consists of outdoor spaces enclosed on two or more sides by buildings. Courtyards can fulfil a number of different functions:
  • Spaces adjoining the street form an extension of the public realm and are suitable for commercial tenants seeking a high profile and foot traffic
  • Internal spaces can provide:
    • visual or acoustic buffering between incompatible activities
    • increased air circulation and access to natural light
    • provision of functional outdoor space for occupants (private or common)
    • quiet areas at the rear of the development that are highly suitable to residential use.​

Better Design Practice

Avoid car access into courtyards.

​Courtyards should, whenever possible, be accessible to pedestrians only. However, it may be necessary to provide access for service and emergency vehicles.​  In such as case, pedestrians should be prioritised for through design.

The design of a courtyard should reflect its intended use.
Courtyards can range from bustling gathering places to peaceful areas of retreat. Consider the impacts of size, location, privacy, security, and landscaping design on the intended function of the courtyards.​

Where using a courtyard, consider whether the primary street frontage should be continuous.

In town centres, continuous street frontages are usually desirable. An open courtyard at the front of the site may not be an appropriate fit for the surrounding urban form.​

Rules of Thumb

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