This project is a clever courtyard home designed for young clients in a new suburban estate in South East Queensland.

The clients were looking for an open courtyard-style home to occupy their medium-sized block, which is closely bordered by the estate’s project-style-homes.

Helensvale Haus is designed to breathe. Each area of the home can be opened up to natural light and air, meeting the clients’ desire to build a classic courtyard home that makes use of the sub-tropical climate.

While the living areas are bordered by and flow into a central lush courtyard, the architect considered the clients’ need for privacy in the densely-populated estate. From the street, the modern box fa├žade of the Helensvale Haus acts as a barrier for the clients’ indoor and outdoor living spaces.


On entry, through large doors at the front edge of the courtyard, the home feels instantly private and separate from the street. The open-plan living and kitchen area is bordered by sliding doors, allowing seamless cross-ventilation and connection to the courtyard.

Upstairs, the versatility of the house becomes apparent. A series of bedrooms, bathrooms and a quiet living space all face inwards to the green courtyard. The second retreat-style living area adds flexibility to the home, allowing the residents a secluded rest space away from the open ground floor.

The new suburban estate on the Gold Coast is neatly organized in rows of ‘cookie cutter’ homes that have the potential to encroach on the privacy of the Helensvale Haus.

“Suburban estates are rarely sites for architecturally designed homes that focus on clients’ needs and lifestyles,” says Lachlan Grant, managing director of Happy Haus. 

“Often, volume-built homes dominate these sites as they are focused on cost outcomes only. Our philosophy is to create homes where design, quality and cost have been equal partners in the process.

“We delivered this home for far less than the standard Australian build cost at $2150 per sqm, and more similar to the construction rates of the neighbouring homes.”


Tiles: National Tiles
External cladding: Scyon
Window awnings: Heka Hoods
Flooring: Bamboo by Preference Flooring
Cabinets: Laminex
Bathroom fittings: Reece - Mizu range
Lighting: Beacon Lighting
Windows: Trend Windows