Architecture

Japan's Loop House encircles a palace-inspired garden courtyard

Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates have made a hidden garden the central focus of the Loop House
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates have made a hidden garden the central focus of the Loop House
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The Loop House, from above
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The Loop House, from above
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
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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
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
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The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
Large floor-to-ceiling windows, shallow balconies and uncluttered spaces reinforce this relationship between interior and exterior of the Loop House
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Large floor-to-ceiling windows, shallow balconies and uncluttered spaces reinforce this relationship between interior and exterior of the Loop House
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
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Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
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Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
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The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
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The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
9/17
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
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
10/17
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
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
11/17
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates have made a hidden garden the central focus of the Loop House
12/17
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates have made a hidden garden the central focus of the Loop House
Large floor-to-ceiling windows, shallow balconies and uncluttered spaces reinforce this relationship between interior and exterior of the Loop House
13/17
Large floor-to-ceiling windows, shallow balconies and uncluttered spaces reinforce this relationship between interior and exterior of the Loop House
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
14/17
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built its Loop House around a garden, rather than the other way around
The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
15/17
The two-story Loop House features a courtyard at its heart
Courtyard of the Loop House
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Courtyard of the Loop House
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
17/17
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west

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.

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
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

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.

The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west
The privately-owned Loop House is inspired by the Katsura Imperial Villa, a famed 17th century home and garden in Kyoto’s west

"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.

Source: Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates

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