Courtyard House at Wani

Courtyard House at Wani

design it
Otsu, Shiga, Japan | View Map
Project Year
Hiroyuki Hirai
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Interior furnitureFritz Hansen
series 7™
Wooden window/ Aluminum SashLIXIL
Interior lightingDAIKO
Kitchen CounterSanwa Company
Interior lightingYamagiwa

Product Spec Sheet
Interior furniture
GRAND PRIX™, series 7™ by Fritz Hansen
Wooden window/ Aluminum Sash
Interior lighting
Kitchen Counter
Interior lighting

Japanese lake side courtyard house living with owner’s dog

design it as Architects

Wani is located in the northern part of Otsu City, which is between Lake Biwa and Hira Mountains. It is a suburban residential area where people live leisurely, with the JR Kosei Line running north and south, giving good access to Kyoto and Osaka. We designed a small house on a hill in Wani. The owner is a dog lover who likes outdoor activities and whose hobby is swimming with his dogs in Lake Biwa on the weekends. The owner's request was to live with his pets and fully enjoy the scenery and atmosphere unique to Wani.

We chose a one-story building with a courtyard so that he could stay outdoors while preserving privacy from the surrounding houses. However, even if it is a courtyard style, the view to Lake Biwa will be lost if it is surrounded by rooms on all sides. Therefore, we put a part of the eaves in the outdoor space and a large opening to connect the courtyard and the outside of the house. As a result, it became more like a "semi-courtyard" than a full one.

The courtyard overlooking Lake Biwa, with the clean air flowing from Hira Mountains, has become a cozy, warm and luxurious outdoor space with an indoor atmosphere. In this house, the entrance, windows and all the rooms face the courtyard, and so daily life is naturally centered around it. We wanted to create a house where everything in life is with the courtyard, not just a house overlooking it.

The interior of one room is somewhat divided by bending around the courtyard, creating a slightly different space. We also wanted to have a loose atmosphere in a good way, where people and things can somehow create a place even if there is no clear shape as a room. We would be happy if a favorite place is chosen according to the season and time, creating a generous and comfortable living atmosphere like drinking coffee at a table overlooking Lake Biwa in the morning and taking a nap on a large sofa near the courtyard in the afternoon.


Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Galvalume
2. Flooring: Tataki (Japanese traditional floor hard-packed with plaster)
3. Doors: Wooden door
4. Windows: Wooden window/ Aluminum Sash, LIXIL
5. Roofing: Galvalume
6. Interior lighting: Spot light, Yamagiwa/ Down light, DAIKO/ Bracket light, original
7. Interior furniture: Seven chair and Grand prix chair, FRITZ HANSEN 

Project Credits
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