An Incredible Interior Courtyard Shielded By Optical Glass Bricks
Built around a carefully tended courtyard, this home enjoys the privacy of a glass wall for a dazzling sense of semi-transparency. Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP, and located in downtown Hiroshima, its structure surrounding structure serves as an ethereal mirage between it and the tall buildings that surround – a breath of fresh air in the midst of the city. Residents can observe the urban bustle from within the silent interior, separated but connected with the life that surrounds. The glass features are so expansive and weighty that only steel bolts could sustain the outer structure.
The home occupies a 224 square meter plot with tall buildings on either side. The contrast of the two types of construction is almost startling – the lightness of the brick glass facade stands out from the weight and bulk that surrounds.
Skillfully cast optical glass is so transparent that it’s possible to see the interior courtyard trees through the dappled surface of the bricks.
Inside, sliding glass doors allow each room to have intimate contact with the sculpted courtyard landscaping.
Glass walls continue inside the building, creating division between functional spaces without hindering the natural lighting.
Despite all the glass, the interior is surprisingly dark due to the abundance of matte black surfaces. Dappled sunlight enhances the atmospheric appeal without any unpleasant gleaming.
Residents can shelter in the shade of the trees while taking a swim in the courtyard pool, never having to worry about curious neighbors.
Lacking direct sunlight, the interior is a cool refuge on a hot summer day.
These gorgeous sunset views demonstrate how the home changes throughout the day. The glass blocks change the light as filters through, creating different effects depending on the angle of the lighting.
Looking out from the dining room, it’s hard to tell where the living space ends and the courtyard begins.
While most of the home is decorated with a modern and minimalistic style, the dining room uses wood details for a softer and more traditional look.
But the wood isn’t just an aesthetic addition – its uneven boards and knotty texture helps hide expansive storage cabinets.
Rather than looking out to a view of tall buildings, these bedrooms get to enjoy the look of treetops juxtaposed against the orderly glass bricks.
Not every room faces out toward the glass blocks. These tall courtyard walls allow privacy in the bathroom despite its full wall of windows. The tub and power are elevated for a better view.
Walking along the glass wall provides fractured glimmers of the outside world from within the groomed garden.
Sunlight fractures as it passes through the glass blocks like raindrops.
The glass blocks exert incredible influence over the quality of light as it breaches the icy surface – cool, fluid, and dynamic.
Each block is unique. The interior perforations accommodate steel supports. Otherwise, the glass would have been too heavy to support itself.
With such attention to detail, it’s no wonder that each interior view provides such an inspiring image.