Courtyard competition entry: Riyadh

Our design for this courtyard garden in Riyad hwas entirely modern,and yet our inspiration camefrom the ancient Arab tradition of garden sanctuaries in a harsh landscape, earthly paradises enclosed by high walls, shaded by trees and filled with the sound of running water and scent of flowers.

Our clients enjoy travel, and the interior of their house is inspired by many different cultures. We have built on this theme, using the rills to divide the space into four, each with a slightly different style.

By furnishing one area with small tables and chairs we have created the informal atmosphere of a Parisian café. Another is more formal, and here there is a dining table for up to fifteen guests. As art is another of our clients’ passions, the shady corridor enclosing the courtyard will serve as an exhibition space. Sandstone paving slabs unify all of these distinct areas.

The olive tree, the pool and rills are the only fixed points in the design. All the other furnishings can be moved, making the courtyard an infinitely flexible space, suited to dinners or buffets, drinks parties or dances.