No Mean City: The World of Architecture, As Seen From Toronto

Apr 18

Denegri Bessai’s Hepbourne House: The return of the courtyard

2013 / Categories: Uncategorized

Hepbourne House. Photo Jesse Colin Jackson

Two stories today in the Globe: this one is about a courtyard/backyard by Denegri Bessai.

 “The way these lots are used, from the mid-20th century on, is interesting,” says Mr. Bessai. “Rather than just a garden for sitting, or ornament, there are a lot of functions assigned to a small space. If you put it back with a few changes, it works well.”

…The details of the new courtyard surface are carefully wrought. It is paved with inexpensive Unilock paving stones, in squares and rectangles, laid in an irregular pattern. Their scale makes the space feel large and their grey colour harmonizes with the sober palette of the garage. They also make way for gardens along each side – no tomatoes here, but about 20 varieties of shrubs and three Japanese maples. In high summer, “it’s completely wrapped in flora; there’s grass that wraps down onto the stones,” Mr. Wellington says. “It actually feels greener than it did before.”





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