Until the attack of Catholic armies during the Reconquista, a huge portion of Spain was inhabited by Muslims in the 8th century. While traces of Islam exist within the perimeters of modern-day Spain, it's rather hard to say that the peninsula used to be Islam territory. However, they did leave something behind: their impact in architecture like patio designs.
One of the most prominent patio designs used in homes today is the Andalusian patio, a traditional open-air courtyard. If you've seen the images and believe that the house appears like a traditional Arab home, that's because the design was utilized frequently by the Iberian Muslims. An example of this layout can be seen in the Alhambra, which is in Southern Spain. It presented a large pool with flora lining up both sides of the swimming pool.
Basically, an Andalusian patio was placed within a house but the section above it is left open. It typically featured a tiled floor and a vibrant yard where sunlight can freely enter and fresh air can freely blow inside the home. For experts, it's more than a classic layout; it was a very early example of a lasting design.
Because the patio has an open-air layout, natural cool breeze may get in the home freely. Instead of purchasing expensive cooling systems, the Andalusian patio, together with the yard, provides adequate air to cool down every section of the home. It must be taken note that the Iberian Muslims were used to staying in warm areas.
When it rains, the Andalusian patio's swimming pool can serve as the home's tank, providing water for different uses. The open-air layout of this patio caters more to utility rather than easy visual appeal. The Alhambra had several Andalusian patios around the area, providing a large system of air flow and reservoirs for the citadel. All this and more were implemented even when kept within the house's wall structures.
For more information on the Andalusian patio, you can review the write-up on SaudiAramcoWorld.com. The "green" attributes of this style are mentioned in a research on AlchemicalNursery.org. You can make use of the information, too, to help you acquire some design ideas for an outdoor kitchen.
Andalusian Patio Designs: Exceeding Simple Visual Appeal