A narrow vertical slice at one corner is the only interruption to the monolithic facade of this plain white house in Miyazaki, Japan, by Hiroshima studio Tsukano Architect Office (+ slideshow).
Designed with a simple rectilinear shape, the austere two-storey residence has a single window slotted into its narrow opening, as well as a dark corridor that leads down inside.
A door at the end of the corridor opens into the house's dining room, set around a metre below ground level, where a large window reveals a courtyard concealed behind the blank facade.
This courtyard spans the width of the building and is overlooked by every room inside. Its surface is at the same level as the ground outside the walls, but it also lines up with worktops in the kitchen and a concrete breakfast bar in the dining room.
Tsukano Architect Office designed the house with two almost-identical floor plans, creating a living room directly over the dining room, a kitchen that lines up with the upstairs bedroom and the study with a bathroom exactly overhead.
Surfaces are finished in a mixture of exposed concrete, timber panels and white plaster.
Architect Michiya Tsukano describes his intention to protect the house from the noises of the road and the overbearing surrounding buildings using an encasing "white plate". He explains: "With the white plate, the house can be separated from the outer crowdedness, while sunlight is allowed to come into the courtyard."
House T is one of the first completed projects by Tsukano Architect Office. Other recently completed houses in Japan include a home with a crooked blue spine and a residence in a converted warehouse. See more Japanese houses on Dezeen.
Photography is by Kenichi Asano.
Here's a short description from Michiya Tsukano:
This scheme has been planned for the downtown in Miyazaki, located in southern Japan.
The road in front is so busy and noisy, and there are tall buildings for residence at the south. Considering all these factors, I came up with a brilliant idea to harmonize with the circumstances having a piece of white plate wrap the whole home space.
With the white plate, the house can be separated from the outer crowdedness, while sunlight is allowed to come into the courtyard, which makes inner space warm and brighter.
Architect: Michiya Tsukano/Tsukano Architect Office
Structural design: Hiroshi Okamoto, Tomoe Tsukano
Location: Miyazaki, Japan
Site area: 172.38 sqm
Building area: 59.47 sqm
1F floor area: 50.15 sqm
2F floor area: 57.99 sqm
Total floor area: 108.14 sqm
Principal use: residence
Above: ground floor plan
Above: first floor plan
Above: cross section
Above: long section