Sophia Baraket

Dar Mim Courtyard House in Tunisia by Septembre Architecture


[dropcap size=big]D[/dropcap]ar Mim is a renovation and extension of a traditional courtyard house in Hammamet, Tunisia. Designed by Septembre Architecture, the desire for the renovation was to preserve the unique elements of the existing house such as the entrance court, the central patio and the vaults. This was in order to maintain the alternating solids and voids that are distinctive of the patio house typology. With regards to the extension, it attempts to align the home in height with the neighbouring buildings, and it offer a sense of presence that was previously non existent due to its single floor on the same level with the street.


[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]his is a renovation and extension of a traditional Tunisian courtyard house in the historic heart of the city of Hammamet, Tunisia seeks to retain an alternation of solids and voids that provide light and natural ventilation.

The client lives alone but often receives guests, and the brief demanded two separate living areas. The aim of the project was to maintain the two courtyards and to organize the main living functions around them, and to create a multitude of horizontal and vertical connections – spatial and visual. So that the users can interact between the different spaces and levels of the house.


The two level extension is aligned on the facade overlooking the street. It rises to the same height as the neighboring buildings. The added volume reveals the presence of a house hitherto invisible from the street. The extension hosts the guests living area. It has its own independent terrace that is accessed from a new staircase.

The core of the house is apprehensive from the studio terrace, and a visual connection is established. The choice was to use local materials and know-how. All woodwork and metalwork were custom made by local artisans. The use of plaster and lime paint on all exterior walls using traditional techniques allows the new construction to be well integrated with the context. It also underlines the facade by the play of light and shadows.

The floors are in concrete that is left raw in the living room, waxed in the bedrooms and white-washed in the two courtyards. All exterior surfaces are treated in the same way in order to unify the exterior spaces.

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