Hawthorn - Courtyard House

Designed by the Melbourne based architecture practice Ha, Courtyard House is a heritage-listed home inspired by Japanese architecture and Zen principles. The renovation was completed discreetly, with no visible presence of an addition beyond.


Upon arrival, hidden doorways lead to bedrooms; meanwhile, a lightwell above draws you further along a convoluted path until the central courtyard is revealed. Carved out of the original footprint, the courtyard creates a north-facing living space. Operable timber screens allow the inhabitants to adjust for changing light and climatic conditions — and effect a harmonious juxtaposition of cross-hatched timber with the garden’s organic elements of greenery, water and stone.


Beyond the courtyard, a dramatic new double height pavilion serves as the house’s main living area. The east-facing room is designed to inspire a daily morning yoga practice. Throughout the house, framed views to a sequence of garden spaces further evoke the clients’ desired ambience of tranquility.

Architect Ha Architecture
Photographer Tom Ross