This home cleverly redefines what a patio means

Thanks to a giant sliding polycarbonate wall, this home ushers natural light and air indoors.

When you live in an area that is cold and rainy most of the year, you want to have a home that can soak up all the available sun without making you feel like you are trapped inside. Welcome to the House in Sonobe.


Built in 2017, the House in Sonobe is a home with deceptively simple architecture: a rectangular volume with a gable roof, three concrete walls, and one giant wood and corrugated plastic wall on one of its longer sides.

[Photos: Shinkenchiku Sha/courtesy Tato Architects]

But the building, designed by Kobe-based studio Tato Architects, hides a two-story patio that the residents reveal by sliding half of that translucent plastic wall. The patio–or as Tato’s chief architect Yo Shimada calls is, “terrace enclosure”–is also illuminated from the top using a roof made of the same material as the sliding door.

During sunny days, the patio opens to fully take in the outside world. Inside, two walls set at opposing 45-degree angles also have glass doors that open the interior of the house to the patio. Open the doors, and the house’s inhabitants can fully embrace the good weather and let the air in.

Then when it is cold and rainy, the main sliding door closes, but light still filters in, making the space feel bright year round.

Seems like the perfect place for a hammock and a daily siesta forever.


About the author

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast Company.