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Modern Japanese house tucks in three leafy courtyards

Who needs windows when you have courtyards?

Cedar house on corner Yasunori Shimomura via Designboom

A house is a reflection of priorities. Open plan or discrete rooms? Ranch or multi-story? Bigger bedrooms or bigger yard? For this compact house in Akashi, Japan, it’s all about access to nature. The 1,800-square-foot house dedicates a significant portion of the site to indoor courtyards that make the home feel like it’s part of a mini arboretum.

Living room facing courtyard Yasunori Shimomura via Designboom

Japanese studio Arbol designed the timber house with an exterior cladding that disguises the series of interior courtyards. From the outside, the home looks like a simple, windowless box. Inside, light filters through the courtyards and into the rooms, giving the space a soft, diffused glow.

Room facing courtyard Yasunori Shimomura via Designboom

The architects divided the home into three main zones—a living room, a dining-room-meets-kitchen, and a room with a traditional tatami floor. Each zone has a wall of windows and a sliding glass door that leads to a private courtyard outfitted with rocks, bushes, and trees.

Yasunori Shimomura via Designboom
Yasunori Shimomura via Designboom

Looking through the windows towards the outside, there are no streets or neighbors—just a perfectly serene landscape that the owners can call their own.

Via: Designboom