The house is built right in the middle of typical suburb residential quarters found everywhere in Japan. Surrounded by a mixture of one- and two-storey buildings, the house features a courtyard in the middle of the building to secure privacy and has a simple square outer appearance molded in the shape of the lot it is built. Most windows face the courtyard rather than the outside, creating a private yet brightly sunlit environment.
First, open the lattice door to enter the courtyard, where you will find a garden with trees and a path to the entrance. The designer’s focus here is on the stereoscopic proportion of the courtyard. In order to make the courtyard facing skyward a place where residents can feel as much at home and comfortable as possible, the roof height is minimized to reduce oppressive feeling and to maximize the portion of sky in the viewer’s sight.
Another focus of the courtyard design is the sense of depth. The courtyard takes a complicated planar form due to walls and glass panels separating indoor and outdoor spaces. Every wall and glass panel facing the courtyard is aligned next to each other in a degree other than horizontal or vertical. As a result, you may experience the sensation that a flow pulling you towards the depth of the courtyard. In the same manner, a gaze on the other side of the house across the courtyard gives you such a sensation of depth that it may feel as if you are looking at a separate house.
The indoor traffic line surrounds the courtyard to achieve the longest possible flow within the confines of space. Bedrooms and living rooms face a veranda, which also serves as the only access to these rooms. In places like Japan, where four seasons are appreciated and enjoyed throughout the year, the outdoor veranda-cum-corridor may provide the dwellers with pleasant diversion. Actually, this outdoor corridor used to be a very common feature of traditional houses in Japan.
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