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Private courtyard in place of the garage.

Private courtyard in place of the garage Cutting a notch into the roof over the front of a former garage added an open-air space for a private outside sitting area. Where the garage door once stood, a gently curving wall of glass blocks now lets light into the narrow courtyard without permitting views in from the outside.

The former two-car garage space now divides into two zones: the 8- by 18-foot courtyard and a 13- by 18-foot family room behind it. Beyond the family room is a guest room added during the remodel.

The 6- by 12-foot glass-block wall ties into wing walls that angle in from the front of the house. On the driveway side, a curb defines a flower bed, keeps traffic away from the block wall, and diverts rainwater. Inside the paver-tiled court, potted plants and teak garden furniture enrich the space, which opens to the interior room by way of oversize (8- by 16-foot) sliding glass doors. An outside closet was built into the wall at one end of the courtyard.

Pavers with a glazed surface cover the family room floor and repeat the tile shapes from the court. Subtly echoing the curve of the glass-block wall, the 12-foot-high back wall of the family room arcs slightly. The roof is unchanged structurally, but a new beam added above the sliding glass doors picks up the load of the shortened rafters.

Architect Michael Rubenstein of Santa Rosa, California, designed the remodel for owners Robin See and Kim Fiori.
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Date:Jan 1, 1990
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