Courtyard Mansion

Revitalising a 19th-century courtyard building for modern use

Public buildings





The reconstruction of all three parts of the historical building made it possible to adapt it for new functions — offices, a restaurant and retail. The 19th century part, facing the side street, was restored. Through the use of two shades of plaster, the historical design of the facade was emphasised while the plinth was encased in granite. For the two-storey building in the courtyard a granite basement and granite slopes on the windows were added. The most recent part located inside the courtyard - a three-storey building given to the premises under commercial lease - underwent the most significant interventions. The façade of the first two floors is clad in granite which, due to its thin rendering, retains the effect of sturdy construction and solidity. Panoramic glazing and irregular column placement visually elevate the top floor. This duality enhances the contrast between the bottom and top of the building - it seems to be two-storey while actually retaining a three-storey volume. The visual harmony of proportions in all the buildings creates a cosy space of the inner courtyard.

That approach helped to perform a spatial trick: to put together a proportional and cosy inner yard by visually connecting the lines on the façades facing the yard. Large windows of one of the buildings link the interior and the exterior space. The pavement pattern mirrors the facade grid, so that the frontage visually merges with the courtyard. The elaborate pavement reminisces a carpet on the floor of a living room, ‘domesticating’ and interiorising the shared public space of the courtyard.