Courtyards and small spaces

There are many challenges when building in Japans dense cities. Two that make it to the top of the list is to maintain privacy while letting in enough natural light and creating outdoor spaces within those restrictions that create pleasant views.

Arbol Architects is a architecture firm in Osaka that was founded by Yousaku Tsutsumi and has recieved the Good Design Award back in 2014 with the first of two houses featured in this article.

The “Nishimuki” house is a one story house built for a couple that is enclosed by a high wall of vertically-oriented cedar planks protecting the privacy of the residents. Once you enter the residence you’ll be surprised to see that the rooms are full of natural sunlight through courtyards that span through the entirety of the house.

A corridor cuts off the circulation of the gravel garden to connect the front of the house with the rear.
View of the tatami room towards the living room.
The living room is constantly in contact with nature and sunlight.

A more recent residence that was built in 2018 shows similar traits and features three inner courtyards for the family to enjoy the pieces of nature while staying indoors.

Facade of a house in Akashi built in 2018.
Living-dining room with a kitchen.
A japanese-style room with tatami floor.

More projects are available on their Instagram account and on their official website.

All images courtesy of Arbol Design.