From the past to present, we can see alteration and improvement of the courts. While the term court transforms a semi-open space where the political meeting and judgements did like Basilicas in The Roman Forums and we can see this transformation from the late 12 century. For example, The Scandinavian Mead Hall or Westminister Hall in England used a typical meet hall for king’s judgement or as an assembly of King. However the usage of courts transforms as a garden. Also we can easily see the change from private to the semi-public usage of courts.
In Ancient Roman Insula, which is a kind of today’s apartment, there was a court at the centre of the insula and the court surrounded with vertical and horizontal circulation so they can always reach the court for fresh air and get light inside the Insula and also it becomes a semi-public space that they used a kind of semi-public garden. Also in Roman Domus we can observe the variation of courtyards like atrium and peristylium. However, peristylium was more like court garden. It has opening to the sky and flowers and shrubs, fountains, benches and sculptures. It is also centre of the house and spaces which are important for people like dining room, bedrooms are located around it so it creates a transition space between them and also helps them to complete horizontal circulation.
In Greek house the court has not directly entered from the street to increase the level of privacy. The courts are the space where the daily life take place. There is also transition between the room and court but an inner balcony surround the whole strengthen this transition idea.
In the typical house of Athangudi -an Indus Valley civilization-, also, the central courtyard is surrounded by a corridor which provides transition (access) to the rooms and the other parts of the house. The courts were generally designed for lightning, ventilation and thermal comfort but in here people also use courts to collect rain water for regular usage.
Evolving over the centuries, courtyards have been used for a variety purpose. It also plays a major role in creating a social space rather than just for lightning and ventilation.
Therefore, I interpret the courts as the central space and there was a circulation around it. It creates always a transition space between the other parts of the house and between exterior and interior (from the heat, noise and sometimes smell of the streets to the cool, shaded and quite central space).