Courtyard (architecture)

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Courtyard of the Pitti Palace , Florence
Courtyard of the main building of the ( Munich Re ), Munich

In architecture, a courtyard is an open-air space surrounded by a building and building wings or walls. In contrast to traditional construction, courtyards in modern architecture can also be covered with a glass roof; in this case , the natural lighting and the impression of the room are decisive for the allocation.

Differentiation according to location

Backyards in Berlin

Courtyards can be fundamentally differentiated according to their location within the building complex:

An inner courtyard is a courtyard that is surrounded on all sides, usually in large, connected building complexes. There are a variety of types and names. Rectangular floor plans are the most common. If the courtyard is given particular value as an independent component, it is often emphasized by a square floor plan. Regular polygonal or round courtyards are rarer (example: Charles V's palace in the Alhambra ). Medieval castles often have irregular polygonal inner courtyards, which resulted from the adaptation of the castle to the natural terrain.

A special form of the inner courtyard is the atrium , which is open or roofed with glass and serves to illuminate the surrounding rooms.

A forecourt is a courtyard in front of a building that creates a transition between the public area of ​​a street or square and the main building. Courtyards are mainly found in representative buildings; in ruling palaces they have a ceremonial function and in sacred buildings they often have a cultic function. The courtyards of churches are called the narthex .

The backyard is a courtyard behind a building, which usually had housekeeping functions and therefore usually has no architectural design. Backyards are characteristic of the tenements of the 19th century, where they were created through the expansion of the garden area originally located behind the house.

Special designs

Today the term atrium is mainly used for glazed inner courtyards. Atrium originally referred to an interior of a Roman building that was lit through a ceiling opening (i.e. not a courtyard in the strict sense of the word). Later, the term was mainly carried over to the forecourt of representative buildings and early Christian churches. In modern architecture, atrium is often used as a buzzword to refer to all types of courtyards.

The peristyle is an inner courtyard surrounded on all sides by porticos, which goes back to ancient Greek architecture.

The cloister is an inner courtyard in monasteries surrounded by arcades .

The main courtyard is a forecourt that occurs mainly in three-wing baroque palace complexes .

The patio is the Spanish name for an inner courtyard.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Hof  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Lichthof  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Höfe  - collection of images, videos and audio files