Tijuana house by T38 Studio hides a private courtyard

House in Mexico by T38 Studio contains a private courtyard garden

On the edge of Mexico's border with the US, this house by New York-based architects T38 Studio hides an enclosed courtyard garden behind its black stucco volumes (+ slideshow).

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

Divided into three wedge-shaped segments joined by glass bridges, the 3,940-square-foot (366 square metre) house presents an opaque front to the street.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

The building is sited on a hill in Tijuana, Mexico, the bustling city that abuts San Diego, California. Views out to the neighbourhood can be glimpsed through the glass bridges.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

"The idea was to create a strong limit with the street and accentuate the threshold of going into the house," T38 principal Alfonso Medina told Dezeen. "A very solid house is perceived from the outside, while inside it's completely the opposite, most spaces open to each other."

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

One of the volumes contains a double-height living area, with a second sitting area in an open mezzanine above. It is connected by a glass enclosed breezeway to the kitchen and dining areas, which are located in the second segment of the house. A bedroom is located above the kitchen.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

"We were concerned not only with the relationship between inside and outside, but with experience of circulating inside the house," Medina said. "Even when you were going from one inside space to another, the objective was to accentuate the different programs of the house by establishing a relationship to the exterior each time you went from one space to another."

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

A courtyard between the living room and kitchen contains an outdoor dining area and a sculptural concrete fountain.

The third segment contains two additional bedrooms and the ground-floor master suite.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

Medina used low-cost materials throughout the project. Inside, the exposed concrete ceilings are patterned with the imprint of the plywood formwork.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

Natural light washes down the concrete staircase from a skylight above.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

The first and third volumes have attached garages. A small lawn backs the middle segment and a concrete wall surrounding the property – punctured by vertical slatted wooden garage doors – completes the enclosure.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

The house was built by Taller38, T38 Studio's construction and development division based in Tijuana.

New Single Family House by T38 Studio

The inclusion of a courtyard can make even a small house feel spatially complex. Examples include a woodland house in Princeton, New Jersey, and a home with a sunken garden room in London.

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Section one – click for larger image
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Section two – click for larger image