A Japanese house with an interior courtyard that doubles as garage and terrace.

Located on a busy street in Kizugawa, Japan, this one-story house solves the issue of privacy in an ingenious way. Yoshi Architects designed this modern Japanese home with an interior courtyard the clients can use either as a garage or as a semi-outdoor living space. The surrounding houses all have their parking spaces in the front of the house; here, neighbors also organize picnics or barbecues on warm days. The clients, who are also car lovers, wanted something different for their home. The architecture firm thus designed the garage as an interior terrace and extension of the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room.

A translucent, polycarbonate corrugated board material allowed the team to give transparency to this space. The wall has a translucent surface, as the team used recycled plastic bottled to make the corrugated boards. While these panels filter and soften the light, they also work in tandem with one glazed wall to create a bright yet sheltered space. Here, the clients can park their car and see it at all times from the living room. Or they can bring a table and chairs to create a semi-outdoor area for meals or get-togethers with friends. While it has only one floor, the house boasts double-height ceilings. Windows placed higher than usual allow sunshine to enter the living spaces but also provide privacy from the road. Apart from the garage, the house has an indoor garden.

Initially, the clients didn’t plan to expand their family, but during the building process they welcomed a baby. While the studio‘s original design suited two people perfectly, it can also adapt to a family of three. The couple can use the loft area as a child’s room and they can also add an additional room above the bathroom. Photography© Eiji Tomita.

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