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Architect’s own courtyard house does brick right

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Inspired by Alvar Aalto’s Muuratsalo Experimental House

Front of brick house with no windows. Federico Cairoli

There are plenty of ways to put bricks to good use, and this house from architect Bernardo Richter of Arquea Arquitetos is a perfectly straightforward use of the surprisingly versatile material. Richter designed the 2,690-square-foot home in Curitiba, Brazil, for himself with an eye to cozy proportions and livability.

Taking inspiration from Alvar Aalto’s Muuratsalo Experimental House, which the architect designed for himself as a summer home in 1953, Richter’s “Courtyard House,” is similarly anchored by a courtyard around which the house unfolds.

“From the entrance hall, it is possible to quickly understand the space since the whole house is drawn around a central square, the courtyard,” the architect told Dezeen.

Courtyard with concrete covering overhead. Federico Cairoli

From the front, the house is a brick-clad fortress, broken up only by a wooden garage door and front entrance. In the back, expansive windows and sliding glass doors connect the interior to the outside, where there are three separate patios. The central courtyard features a large square fire pit (another nod to Aalto’s design) and a concrete overhang that casts lovely shadows on the ground on sunny days.

Living room with doors open to courtyard. Federico Cairoli
Window looking out onto shaded courtyard patio. Federico Cairoli
Door open onto wooden deck. Federico Cairoli