Japan's Loop House encircles a palace-inspired garden courtyard
Recreating the tranquility of one of Japan's more famous gardens in a dense neighborhood of Kyoto was always going to be a tall order. Local firm Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates approached this problem by building its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around, using large windows and shallow verandahs to create a unique connection between inside and out.
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto's west that now serves as a popular tourist attraction and example of fine Japanese architecture. The client sought the sense of peace offered by the villa's gardens, but with the site squeezed in amongst four buildings on all sides it was going to take a little creative thinking.
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates has taken a slice of these imperial-era garden and made it the central focus of the Loop House, in that way turning the design inside out. The two-story home features a courtyard at its heart and maintains a slender profile as it circles its way around the garden, meaning glimpses of these central greenery are never too far away.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows, shallow balconies and uncluttered spaces reinforce this relationship between interior and exterior, with the landscape seemingly shifting as occupants move throughout the house.
"I would be very pleased if, through this project, I was able to demonstrate new possibilities for an urban house based on the uniquely rich and fertile inside/outside relationships of our country," writes Tomohiro Hata, who leads the firm.
To have a poke around the Loop House, click through to the gallery.