Tomohiro Hata's Loop House faces inwards onto a central courtyard
Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates built Loop House around a planted central courtyard in pursuit of peace and quiet for a dense urban site in Hyogo, Japan.
A series of elevated veranda spaces overlook the courtyard in a design that is an inversion of the Katsura Imperial Villa. The historic villa in Kyoto has a veranda around its perimeter overlooking a traditional Japanese garden.
"I thought that if I cut into the Katsura's plan and rotated it so that it was enclosed in a circle, perhaps I could fold up its inside/outside relationship into a more compact version," said Tomohiro Hata, founder of Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates.
"This resulted in a new form in which a shallow, veranda-like space supports the rich inside/outside relationships, which extend in a circle, looping around."
Being only one room deep, this loop plan ensures that all of the home's spaces have a relationship to the courtyard.
All of the rooms connect to it either through full-height window or via one of the terraces, which are sheltered in certain places by the home's roof.
Loop House's plan is split roughly into two, with communal dining and living areas featuring mezzanine spaces to one side and bedrooms and bathrooms to the other, topped with terrace spaces.
This play of levels, with small staircases connecting the upper and lower verandas with the courtyard itself, animate the spaces with different lines of sight through the entire house.
In contrast, the exterior of Loop House presents a plain, largely windowless facade to the street, with a concrete base and bright white metal panels for the upper levels.
A simple palette of light wood on the interiors and bright white for the exteriors, balustrades and staircases marks out the pockets of inside and outside space that sit tucked around the home.
Founded in 2005, Tomohiro Hata's practice has completed many private houses in Japan. In 2016, the firm designed a sloping metal-clad home in Kobe, and the 2013 project House N in Hyogo clustered three buildings around a central courtyard.
Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano.