Over a decade ago, my partner and I moved to New York City (Brooklyn). We were somewhat surprised to find a certain feature of our apartment building; where it abuts the adjacent apartment building, there is a small open space, a few feet wide. This space is fully enclosed by the buildings and cannot be accessed except by an internal access door through the basement of the buildings. No one ever enters or uses the space. It provides positioning of windows for sunlight into the kitchens, bathrooms, and central living spaces of all the apartments. We can look from our kitchen directly into the neighbors' kitchen a few feet away. An example of this space is shown from Google maps below:
For scale of the space, compare to the cars on the street. These are not very large buildings; maybe 3 or 4 stories tall, and each floor is just a single residence.
I'd like to be able to say with friends something like, "Today there are workmen doing construction in the ____ and it's very loud in my apartment!".
What's the name of this small, enclosed open-space feature between two apartment buildings?