This house, for a surgeon in Chiba, Japan, by Apollo Architects & Associates contains courtyards with elevated wooden walkways and glass walls behind its thick concrete exterior.
The residence was designed for a busy street in Yotsukaido City, so Apollo Architects & Associates used chunky slabs of reinforced concrete to create a soundproofed barrier around the interior spaces.
"(The client) requested privacy and quietness for his wife and three children to lead healthy lives," explain the architects.
The largest of the three courtyards sits beyond a sheltered driveway and contains a grass lawn and a central tree, while the second is positioned past the entrance and accommodates a pebble surface and a small maple tree.
The smallest court is tucked away at the back to offer a small outdoor area for the main bedroom and bathroom.
"The family can enjoy different atmospheres in these courtyards," say the architects.
Two staircases lead up to the living room and the children's room on the first floor. One is indoors and built from wood, but the second is a series of concrete treads that rise up from the grassy courtyard.
Wooden balconies overlook the courtyards from above and residents can look into different rooms through glass walls.
The house is named "Still" and was completed in spring 2012.
Tokyo-based Apollo & Architects & Associates is led by Satoshi Kurosaki. The studio has designed a number of houses since launching in 2000.
Photography is by Masao Nishikawa.
Here's some more detailed information from the architects at Apollo & Associates.
"The client acquired the 330 m2 orthagonal property located along the road in pursuit of a space rest his body and soul exhausted from his work as a surgeon. He requested privacy and quietness for his wife and three children to lead healthy lives. The building is set back from the frontal street where heavy vehicles pass by regularly. Parking space is secured for three cars. Reinforced concrete structure is chosen for its soundproofing ability. The opening is kept to a small horizontal ribbon window to block the noise and automobile emissions.
The client purchased this property sized over 300 m2 for a purpose of creating coutyards with tall symbolic trees. There is a compact court with a maple tree in front of the entrance. Across the central corridor is the main court. And, towards the back of the site is a narrow bathroom court. The family can enjoy different atmospheres in these courtyards.
The family space on the second floor is a singly space surrounded by full-height glazing. Across the central corridor, the children's room/study space is located.
The space can be separated into individual rooms in the future. The other characteristic of this house is that the residents can experience the circulation space as the cross between inside and outside, thanks to the central corridor and roof balcony connecting the main building and annex. It is the ultimate luxury to lead a slow-paced life and enjoy the changing seasons."