Synopses & Reviews
Courtyards: Intimate Outdoor Spaces presents a pictorial survey of an increasingly popular part of indoor/outdoor design-the courtyard. Today's architects and designers are creating beautifully private indoor/outdoor spaces amidst escalating urban development.
Doug Keister's striking, color photography illustrates a diverse selection. From ancient Rome and medieval Europe to modern-day New Orleans and San Diego, Courtyards explores the courtyard's history, development, landscaping, and modernization. Whether quaint and quiet or spacious and stimulating, Courtyards offers a taste of how these unique living spaces can be a canvas on which to paint a lasting impression, and on how they can set the mood and tone of any structure.
Courtyards will inspire you to create a space for entertaining, family meals, relaxation, and solitary reflection. It includes chapters such as The Greening of the Courtyard; Community Courtyards: Apartment, Bungalow and Cottage Courts and Public Buildings; Courtyards in Historic Residential Architecture; Water Elements; and Lighting.
Douglas Keister has photographed more than twenty-five critically acclaimed books. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to dozens of magazines, newspapers, books, calendars, posters, and greeting cards worldwide. Some of his books include Classic Cottages, Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, Ready to Roll, Red Tile Style, Silver Palaces, and Victorian Glory. Keister lives in Chico, California, with his wife Sandy Schweitzer.
Few architectural elements are more closely associated with comfort, protection, and security than the courtyard-an outdoor living space that is partially or fully enclosed by walls or buildings. The courtyard became a major architectural design element almost as soon humans began constructing permanent buildings. Scholars tell us that courtyards have been around since at least 3000 b.c. The earliest civilizations in China, the Middle East, and North Africa all had courtyards. Protection was the primary function of these early courtyards, with high walls providing a shield from the weather and a barrier to marauding animals and unwanted human visitors. In later western culture, the requirements of a courtyard were looser, and any area that was partially or entirely enclosed by walls or buildings could be called a courtyard. Today, defining a courtyard seems to depend on the elements it contains and the feelings it evokes rather than the architecture that surrounds it. The basic elements of a courtyard have always been water, walls, and sky combined to convey qualities of intimacy, security, and quiet.