We rarely move between the inside and outside of our homes without some form of in-between space or cover — it could be a stoop, porch, balcony, veranda, courtyard or canopy. This might be where we initially greet a visitor, sit and read a book, take shelter from the rain or sun, or watch the world go by. For apartment dwellers, the terrace or balcony might be their only private outdoor space, and might double as a space for drying clothes or storing the bike. For passive-house owners, an unheated sun space is a vital part of the home’s function.
Where we live defines how we use these in-between spaces, too. Shelter is often the primary role, as these spaces protect us from the elements. They can also harness the sun’s energy in low-energy houses, or cool homes with cross-flow cooling breezes.
New designs have made it possible to use these spaces year-round. Many apartments have “winter garden” balconies with sliding glass screens. Wraparound verandas protect from the searing sun in hot climates. Moveable screens can temper the sun, reduce wind or provide privacy. Mesh screens can discourage insects if needed. Even a vine-covered pergola can provide pleasant shade in the summer and more sunlight in the autumn when the leaves fall.
See how architects have tackled the challenges to control the climate’s effect on houses while providing pleasant and useful in-between spaces — shown here in the form of verandas.
Nettly Wood, San Juan Islands, Bosworth Hoedemaker
An open veranda provides welcome shade to the house in the summer months but allows low-level winter sun to provide passive solar gain in the winter. The timber-lined veranda is a welcome outdoor space too.
Gillsville House, Georgia, Robert M. Cain
In this open veranda, the trees create an interesting backdrop but also act as a filter for the sun. The limbs of the trees also appear to be reflected in the exposed structure of the veranda.
Carmel Residence, California, Dirk Denison Architects
A glass roof covers the external room. The sky is visible overhead while the open finned walls allow gentle breezes inside. The combination of glass, wood, steel and void enriches the experience of sitting outside.
Continue reading 14 Beautiful In-Between Spaces: Verandas Around the World