F-White by Takuro Yamamoto


Japanese studio Takuro Yamamoto Architects have completed a small house in Kashiwa, Japan, centred around a rectangular courtyard that has been rotated at an oblique angle to the rest of the building.

Named F-White, the one storey house has few outward-facing windows with most of the natural light coming from the courtyard, a private space with views only to the sky.

The angle of the courtyard divides the surrounding space into smaller rooms.

Here is some more information provided by Takuro Yamamoto:


F-WHITE is an independent one-storied house with a courtyard for a single family.

This house is located in suburb of Tokyo, and its neighborhood was developed 30 years ago. But no house had been built on this site, because the size of the site happened to be 1.5 times larger than typical size for suburban houses, though the width is not so big.

So this place had been unpopular, and used as a parking lot for a long time.

Though the site was unusual –larger than standard–, the budget for the house was usual. We had to find a way to make a good use of character of this site, with limited floor area.

Thanks to the size of the site, the sky above the center part of the place was so beautiful, because it is separated from electric wires over streets and windows of neighbor houses.

So we decided to put a courtyard (which doesn’t cost so much) with privacy, on the center of the site. This decision made this house one-storied, because lower height is suitable for the courtyard style, and larger footprint of one-storied house is suitable for the size of the site.

But if you put an outside space on the middle of the site whose width is limited, inside space of the house would be separated, and unified feeling of the house would be spoiled.

So we decided to put the rectangular courtyard at an unusual oblique angle to outer walls rather than a right angle. Because by locating like that, spaces around the courtyard can have enough area to stay, and be chained each other at their corners, without aisle.

This arrangement creates not only sense of unity of the spaces, but also spaciousness of the house, because this oblique angle makes the courtyard look like a box which happened to be thrown out on one very large internal space. And in spite of the spaciousness and simplicity of the plan, each space has it’s own function and different level of privacy. You can find new and different scenes, whenever you turn the corners around the courtyard.

Credits : Takuro Yamamoto Architects
Location : Kashiwa city, Chiba prefecture
Use : independent residence
Site Area : 259.31m2
Building Area : 122.03m2
Total Floor Area : 118.99m2 ( in Japanese Regulation)
Completion : April 2009
Design Period : August 2007-October 2008
Construction Period : November 2008-April 2009
Structure : Wood
Client : a married couple + a child
Architect : Takuro Yamamoto
A person in charge : Eiji Iwase (Takuro Yamamoto Architects)
Structure Design : Masuda Structural Engineering Office
Construction : Nagano-Koumuten
Furniture : tallman STUDIO

Posted on Saturday February 13th 2010 at 5:34 pm by Chris Barnes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • bob

    A variation on the “rather typical, footprint limited theme”. I agree, the architectural theology, conception and overall finish is exquisite, as one would expect from this country’s well-earned reputation. Visually (from the images provided) one gains a sense of zonal harmony through palette, furniture texture and absurdly symmetry. Personally, I would have preferred the dark (ceiling) colour to have been the floor. (Viewed up-side-down aesthetically far more pleasing) though I perfectly understand, and congratulate them on their reasoning to complete as is.

  • ads

    Good space, sparse and sublime. Well done Takuro Yamamoto

  • Beautiful house – it has a very calm feel to it.

  • bebo

    i think the japanese are the onlyone who knows how people should live…love them

    • Mr. Jinkles

      And the rest of us don't know how to live?

  • JHG

    Very good usage of the space. The wood is very present and gives a warm ambiance to the overall result. Really good!

  • Armani

    Absolute Heaven!! Japanese architects are the best!!

  • emily

    So very beautiful, exquisite is indeed the perfect word.

  • architectlutolli@gmail.com

    /japanese architecture /is very simple,beautiful….

  • rdeamer

    killer house! absolutely awesome. But I find it strange that alot of japanese houses are completely enclosed to the exterior for privacy issues. Which is not so great for both the people living inside as they cannot focus there eyes in the distance and ponder over any kind of view and for the people on the outside because there are no signs on whether the house is being lived in or not which is important to create a rich urban environment. But I guess if thats the way the client wishes to live then fine. Still, great house just some food for thought

  • 好漂亮

  • The photographs look good but the plan looks very awkward with a lot of acute angles and unusable space. The light switch is just trying too hard and is also unusable. Apart from that, job well done.

  • arkipunk

    clean,free and relieving architecture.

  • qwerty

    I think it looks great, but I want to see the details on water drainage for the interior courtyard. I can see the reveal around the edges for the door but what happens next?

  • EstherR

    beautiful! and of course they have a water drainage. I wouldn’t know how efficient it would be if it were to rain all day but you don’t really think they missed that, do you? may be its the hole on the 2nd image’s left corner.

  • I love open spaces and light tones! Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • Jasenko

    Courtyard used as an space separator makes the house not only look refreshing but also smart and simple. Not the first time I’ve seen the technique and yet it always makes me want to read about it.

    This is the kind of simple and strong idea that make architecture interesting. Why overcomplicate things to try to impress just to make some kind of statement if you can do it the right way right away.

  • JJJJ

    If you're going to describe the lack of electrical wires visible from the courtyard, then don't make the first image a photograph of electrical wires visible from the courtyard.

    Otherwise an interesting design. Great student exercise to diagram certain geometric and user related properties of this space.