How do you bring the sun into an old square courtyard farmhouse facing north?

The configuration of a farm in a square courtyard does not favor the entry of the sun. The different buildings shade each other. How to bring in the sun, so pleasant to illuminate the living rooms?

Project sheet:

  • Owner : Marie and Juan
  • Type of housing : House
  • Village : Urçay (03)
  • Openings : Windows
  • Space to light : Living room
  • Installed Espaciel model : 1 Intelligent reflector

Background of the existing situation

Marie and Juan occupy an old farmhouse in a square courtyard that they have transformed into a house for themselves and their 3 children.

The square courtyard farmhouse is ideally suited for conversion to residential use. Its various buildings are as many potential living spaces to create. This is what Marie and Juan did when they bought this charming Bourbonnaise farm in the late 1970s.

The Intelligent Reflector in the garden of the house – Photo Espaciel

Since then, the children have grown up and the house has become a place for family reunions. Renovated, the farmhouse with its square courtyard offers the happiness of a life in the country, far from the turpitude of big cities.

There is only one shadow to this idyllic picture, the house is dark. During the off-season, this is an aspect that Marie and Juan are sensitive to since they spend more time indoors.

The Intelligent Reflector is easily integrated into the garden. Here it is in a foot configuration. There is also a foot to be screwed in the ground, a wall foot or a foot for terrace railing – Photo Espaciel

Search for a solution

The lack of natural light in the house is due to several factors. The square courtyard layout hides the solar gain for part of the day. Part of the house was built in an old barn that has fewer openings than the rest of the house.

Marie and Juan were looking for a solution to improve the natural lighting of their living room. Having discovered Espaciel through an acquaintance, they identified the Garden Reflector by consulting the Espaciel website.

Detail of the highly reflective surface of the Light Reflector – Photo Espaciel

While observing the presence of the sun in the garden, Mary and Juan realized that it was at the bottom of the plot for most of the day at a distance of about 10 m from the windows. In this configuration, solar tracking appeared to them as an indispensable option to avoid having to adjust the angle of the reflector manually several times a day.

Taking advantage of the visit of a member of the Espaciel team, Marie and Juan discovered the Intelligent Reflector in preview.

Operating principle of the Intelligent Reflector – Diagram


Placed in the sun in the garden, beyond the shadow of the farmhouse, the Intelligent Reflector reflects the sun into the living room all day long. This solar contribution illuminates the room which seems to be exposed to the south.

The Intelligent Reflector redirects the sun towards the room to be lit – Photo Espaciel

The gain in brightness is amazing. The sun’s rays totally change the perception of the living area. The Intelligent Reflector can easily be directed to either space in the square courtyard farmhouse.

Before and after effect of the Intelligent Reflector – Photo Espaciel

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