We have a soft spot for courtyard houses, and this example in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture further demonstrates why. Respectful of tradition yet imbued with a modern polish, the simple building creates a comfortable home around a central courtyard—and a tree that’s been cared for by the same family for generations.
Designed by architect Takashi Okuno, the U-shaped residence has a two-story wing on one side of the courtyard, which contains a double-height open-plan living and dining area and two bedrooms on the second floor. The built-in sliding doors to the courtyard deck encourage the “free-flowing” indoor-outdoor contemporary lifestyle.
On the opposite end is a more traditional space, with proportions suitable for tatami mats and screens made from washi paper. Clean lines, natural materials, and an abundance of view-framing windows are deployed throughout the home. Take a closer look.