The sweet smells of growing plants and the refreshing air of the outdoors were built right into your house when you had a vintage atrium like this.
When you realize that these folding doors are swung open onto an outdoor area and that air is funneled up its sloping ceiling as it would be up a chimney, you can appreciate how much the atrium can speed up the ventilation of every room in the house.
Here, the atrium/courtyard is planted to grass, served as a practice putting green.
Visualize the cooling effect of sprinkling this lawn on a hot, parched day. Rain fell through the always-open pyramidal structure above it.
How much the atrium added to the optical size of the rooms is clearly shown.
The house was only one room wide, and the interior wall of most of its rooms could be thrown open completely.
A breeze entering almost any exterior window had a direct, clear route through the room and, out and up through the atrium.
In chilly weather, or when air conditioning was in use, all doors to the atrium were shut. The peak opening was never closed.
The atrium gave every room in the house an outdoor feeling, and made every room seem bigger. Bugs never troubled it, as its open-to-the-sky peak was screened.
The atrium ceiling itself served as a protective overhang for all interior areas, shading all walls, and permitting natural ventilation, even during hard rainstorms.