Gardening and Landscaping

14 Beautiful In-Between Spaces: Verandas Round the Planet

We seldom move between the inside and out our houses without some type of in-between room or pay — it could be a stoop, porch, balcony, veranda, courtyard or duplex. This might be where we initially greet a guest, sit and read a book, take refuge from the rain or sunshine, or watch the world go by. For apartment dwellers, the terrace or balcony might be their only private outdoor area, and might double as a room for drying clothing or storing the bike. For passive-house owners, an unheated sun space is a vital portion of the home’s function.

Where we reside defines how we use these in-between spaces, too. Shelter is frequently the primary function, because these spaces shield us from the components. They can also harness the sun’s power in low-energy homes, or cool houses with cross-flow cooling breezes.

New layouts have made it possible to use these spaces year-round. Many apartments have “winter garden” balconies with sliding glass screens. Wraparound verandas shield in the sun in warm climates. Moveable screens can temper the sun, decrease wind or provide solitude. If needed, insects can dissuade. Even a vine-covered pergola can offer nice shade in the summertime and much more sunlight in the fall when the leaves drop.

Notice how architects have handled the challenges to control the climate’s effect on homes while providing agreeable and useful interior spaces — shown here in the form of verandas.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Nettly Wood, San Juan Islands, Bosworth Hoedemaker

A open veranda provides welcome shade to your house in the summertime but allows low-level sunlight to offer passive solar gain in the winter. The timber-lined veranda is a welcome outside area too.

Robert M. Cain

Gillsville House, Georgia, Robert M. Cain

In this open veranda, the trees produce an interesting backdrop but also act as a filter for the sun. The limbs of these trees also appear to be reflected from the vulnerable structure of the veranda.

Dirk Denison Architects

Carmel Residence, California, Dirk Denison Architects

A glass roof covers the external room. The sky is observable overhead while the open finned walls allow mild breezes inside. The combination of wood, glass, steel and void enriches the experience of sitting outside.

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Empire Development & Construction

Blair Barn, Wisconsin, Empire Development

Timber slatted screens provide welcome shade from the hot sunshine in the Blair Barn. The display can also be effective in reducing uncomfortable breezes. The tilt-out display opens up the space to the views, while the mix of horizontal and vertical slats create fascinating light and color patterns inside.

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Passive House, Austria, Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekte

This home’s sun balcony opens off the most important household areas across the south side of the house. It is intended to collect passive solar power in the winter and can be used as living space during this year. Two outside layers help modulate the climate — sliding glass windows are used in the winter to retain heat, with drop-down slatted screens to reduce overheating.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

Hamilton Residence, Montana, Eggleston Farkas Architects

Contrary to the previous verandas, this porch includes a lattice display that defines the entrance to the house and screens it from the road. The porch is seen as a secondary living area along the side of the house.

Calistoga Home, California, Earthtone Construction

Sunlight falling on this pergola creates exciting shadow play on the adjacent walls and decking.

Gropius House, Massachusetts, Walter Gropius

From the Gropius House, the upper-level roof has been continued across the terrace as a Collection of wood beams. With walls on three sides, the beams add a dynamic dimension to the otherwise static space. The only open side frames the picture perspective of the landscape outside.

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Hojo, Toyko, Yoneda

The architect calls this space “a cottage with a small garden in the midst of a metropolitan context.” The scenery is its urban environment, seen in the floating deck during the horizontal steel display.

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Irwin Fisher, Inc..

Stinson Beach House, California, Studio Peek Ancona

The slatted wood vertical display and open joisted roof on this veranda create an interesting visual effect on the wood deck and walls.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

Three Oaks Retreat, Michigan, Wheeler Kearns Architects

The flat finned display positioned high up filters the high level sun out of this space, leaving the lower section open to permit clear views of the surrounding countryside.

Lake Flato Architects

Porch House in Miller Ranch, Texas, Lake Flato Architects

In this modern take on a “dog trot” house, operable sliding slatted screens on each side of this semioutdoor space allow solitude and the ability to adjust exposure to sun and air as needed

Maryann Thompson Architects

Westport Meadow House, Massachusetts, Maryann Thompson Architects

An elegant roof overhang provides welcome color to the open terrace. Cooling breezes are encouraged by the positioning of the openings and walls.

The construction zone, ltd..

Logan Residence, Colorado, Jones Studio

In this house the architects created “gold aspen leaves” — shining, fluttering metallic bits hanging overhead, providing shade to a transitional entrance.

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