The idea of the courtyard in Southern California derives primarily from protected spaces that medieval Moors used to keep out the inhospitable world outside. Courtyards are prevalent here because of the passion for indoor/outdoor living and the consistently benign climate. While a classical courtyard might refer to historic precedents and are often limited to traditional materials, the contemporary courtyard offers more diverse design opportunities.
Typically the modern courtyard is more intimate and is a place to highlight luxurious materials. They offer a setting for integrating diverse architectural amenities. Creating a protected enclosed area for gathering, the courtyard offers a place where the interior and the exterior of the home overlap.