What is "patio"? Nine examples of houses and what you need to know.

Updated

Key points of this article

  • Patio is a Spanish word meaning courtyard or backyard.
  • Patio can provide spaces for private, light and wind, and high security.
  • Ensure proper drainage systems and insulation.
  • If you want to make a patio freely according to your desire and house location, we recommend that you ask an architect

What exactly is a patio? "What's so attractive about a patio?" Some of you may be wondering what a patio is. A patio is a "courtyard" in the center of a house surrounded by walls and windows. Patios has been attracting attention as you can enjoy an open and private space without worrying about neighbors.

This article will introduce the attractiveness, examples, and disadvantages of patios. This article will give you a deeper understanding of patios and help you make a satisfying home.

<Table of Contents>

  1. 1.What is a patio?
    1. 1-1.Meaning of "courtyard" and "backyard."
    2. 1-2.What's the difference between a "terrace" and a "patio"?
  2. 2.Attractiveness of house with patio
    1. 2-1.A private space free from hustle and bustle of daily life
    2. 2-2.Bring "light" and "wind" into your life
    3. 2-3.Heal and enrich your daily life
    4. 2-4.Highly security and safe for children
  3. 3.Nine examples of patios by architects
    1. 3-1.A courtyard to enjoy nature
    2. 3-2.A patio that makes you want to take a nap under a clear sky
    3. 3-3.A house with spectacular view anywhere
    4. 3-4.Enjoy the four seasons through large windows with a great sense of openness
    5. 3-5.A sophisticated space for family conversation
    6. 3-6.A residence with slim patio utilizing basement
    7. 3-7.A relaxing patio with minimal waste and attention to detail
    8. 3-8.Spend a relaxing moment in a simple space.
    9. 3-9.A supreme healing space unified in white
  4. 4.Disadvantages of patio
    1. 4-1.Proper drainage system
    2. 4-2.Hot in summer, cold in winter
    3. 4-3.Construction costs: consult your architect!
    4. 4-4.Cost and time for maintenance
  5. 5.summary

What is a patio?

First, we will explain the meaning of "patio" and the difference from "terrace," which is often confused.

1-1. "Courtyard" and "Backyard".

Patio is a Spanish word meaning "courtyard" or "backyard," and refers to "a small garden-like space surrounded by walls, columns, or windows of a house.

In Andalusia in southern Spain, where temperature exceeds 40°C in mid-summer, a patio is used as a living idea to beat the heat. A cool well and fountain are installed, and beautiful flowers and trees are planted therearound. In Spain, patios are also seen in old hospitals and schools. Those are used as "relaxation places" where passersby can take a break or where family and friends can gather for a chat in private houses.

《What type of patios can be seen in Japan?》

A patio in Japanese housing may refer to "a small garden designed in the Spanish style," or in some cases, a simple courtyard is called a patio. In the case of apartment complexes, it may refer to an "outdoor communal space" available only to residents.

Japanese patios can be of the "square" type, in which the house is surrounded on all sides by walls and windows, creating a completely private space, or of the "U-shape" type, in which the house is surrounded on only three sides by walls and windows, creating a sense of openness. Houses with patios are sometimes called "court houses.

1-2. What's the difference between a "terrace" and a "patio"?

A patio is an open courtyard without a roof, while a terrace is often an area one step above the ground.

Since a patio and terrace are both "outdoor spaces on the first floor," many people think it the same thing.

To begin with, a terrace is "an area above the ground" regardless of a roof. It is characterized by being connected to the interior through a wall or a window and has a sense of continuity. In many cases, tile or stone is used as flooring material, and outdoor chairs and tables can be placed to enjoy coffee time.

A patio, on the other hand, refers to a courtyard or backyard, and also means "a courtyard open to the sky. In other words, a patio is an "open courtyard without a roof. If trees, plants, and flowers are planted, as in Spain where the origin of patios, the space will reflect the elements of a courtyard more strongly than a terrace.

Attractiveness of house with patio

The following are four attractions of the house with patio.

2-1. A private space far from hustle and bustle of daily life

The greatest appeal of a house with patio is that you can enjoy a "personal space" created by blocking the view from neighboring houses. In particular, the square shape patio, of which all four sides are surrounded by walls and windows, allows you to enjoy a completely private space blocking third-party views. A U-shaped patio, one of the four sides is open, allows you to enjoy an even more open space while blocking the view of neighboring residences.

A typical garden is often in full view of the neighbors, so many people use fences to hide the garden. In the case of garden facing a street, it is difficult to relax and enjoy the view of a beautifully landscaped garden while cars and passersby pass by. On the other hand, a house with a patio that ensures privacy can create a "private courtyard," freeing you from hustle and bustle of daily life.

2-2. Bring "light" and "wind" into your life

Another major attraction of house with patio is that much more light and air comes into the house than ordinary houses.

For example, many people have experienced a loss of sunlight after a building was built next door. However, even in such cases, a house with a patio allows sunlight to enter from above, making it less susceptible to the influence of surrounding buildings.

Also, even in rooms on the north side of the house that cannot receive much sunlight, a patio in the center of the house will create a highly lit south-facing surface that will receive warm sunlight.

On the other hand, on a site by the sea or mountains where the wind is very strong, the wind is too strong if you put a garden in the front. In such a case, you may be able to take in moderate wind and air by creating a patio inside the building, when you need the breeze from the outside. The convenience of a patio is that it can be used in a variety of ways according to your hope and location.

2-3. Heal and enrich your daily life

In a space cut off from the outside world, you can spend your own special time undisturbed. Patios are used in Spain as a place to relax, and there is no major difference in the way they are used in Japan.

In the courtyard illuminated by the fresh, warm light from above, there are many ways to enjoy yourself freely. For example, you can enjoy gardening, plant trees and flowers to feel nature, or set up chairs and parasols to refresh yourself in the sun.

A comfortable place in a house will help you to be healed and enrich the mind after a tiring day of work, housework, and childcare.

2-4. High security and safe for children

Since the patio is located in the center of the house and can only be reached through the house, it can prevent third parties from entering and provides excellent security. This makes it safe for children and pets to play. There is no danger of children or pets running out into the street, so they can spend their time safely and carefree.

In addition, when you want to ventilate the air of house, you can open the windows anytime. Even if you keep your windows closed at night because you are worried about intruders, the patio allows you to change the air without such worries.

3. Nine examples of patios by architects

Here are nine examples of houses with patios designed by architects. If you are looking for a private space with a patio, please take a look at these examples.

3-1. A courtyard to enjoy nature

In this house, the openings of each room are designed to face the courtyard. By choosing Kyogisudo or shoji screens for the openings, which gently let in sunlight, the residents can enjoy a different expression of light than that which pours into the courtyard.

In the courtyard, tall trees such as Japanese maples and blue ash were planted to create a mood as if the building were standing in a wooded area.

3-2. A patio that makes you want to take a nap under a clear sky

Next is a courtyard house with a built-in garage. Several trees are planted in the courtyard to make you feel close to greenery. On sunny days, you can enjoy relaxing in the hammock.

This house is also designed with an impressive theater system that utilizes the atrium living room, so the couple can spend a relaxing time together watching movies.

3-3. A house with spectacular view anywhere

This house is located in central Tokyo, where space is often limited. Despite the narrow site, the design of the roofless patio efficiently brings in light and wind.

In order to fully enjoy the sense of openness, the courtyard was selected to use the same flooring materials as the indoor space. Furthermore, the originality of not having any partitions or doors between the rooms has united all the spaces, allowing residents to look up at the sky from any location.

3-4. Enjoy the four seasons through large windows with a great sense of openness

In this house in Karuizawa, a famous summer resort, we designed a U-shaped patio.

In the courtyard surrounded by a spacious living room where the family can relax and kitchen where you can enjoy cooking with the bright sunlight in the background, you can plant trees to enjoy nature or invite friends for a party.

Tall windows with a sense of openness will serve as a large screen for the four seasons.

3-5. A sophisticated space for family conversation

This house evokes a modern atmosphere. In the center of the garden, we designed a terrace and bench paved with Oya stone that can be used as an extension of the living room.

Surrounded by lush trees, you can enjoy the changing of the seasons. You can spend precious time with your family in a relaxing mood as if you are in the shade of a forest.

3-6. A residence with slim patio utilizing basement

This house, which was built at the request of a young couple, was located in a quiet area. A light-filled courtyard was designed to improve lighting. Each floor is firmly secured for privacy, while a warm patio creates a space just for the family.

Because of the limited site, it seemed difficult to adopt a general layout, so a basement floor was created, with the floor below ground level.

3-7. A relaxing patio with a minimalist approach

Enclosed by a large living room window, a Japanese-style room, and an exterior wall, this residence with patio was designed to create a prestigious courtyard by placing garden stones and lanterns. Modern gravel is paved around the stones to give it a Japanese feel.

When you are spending time in the living room and give a look at the courtyard, you will feel relaxed and away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

3-8. Spend a relaxing moment in a simple space

In this residence, which has the feel of an old private house, we designed a simple yet beautiful courtyard that is contrary to the exterior. Stone tiles and gravel are used as flooring materials, and a single symbol tree is planted for a simple design.

Warm sunlight comes into the interior through the large, ceiling-length windows. At night, the interior lighting dimly illuminates the courtyard, transforming the patio into a romantic mood.

3-9. A supreme healing space unified in white

The clean white base color of this house is used to create a sense of unity between the outside and the inside by using the same tiles in the courtyard as the flooring material inside.

The design of only one symbolic tree is used to create an open space. The clear courtyard is also attractive in that nothing obstructs the view from the windows, allowing you to enjoy the night sky.

Such a simple patio can be set up with chairs and parasols for reading or for hosting parties with friends.

4. Disadvantages of patio

While a patio allows you to enjoy your private space to the fullest, there are some drawbacks that you should know. Here are four disadvantages regarding a patio.

4-1. Proper drainage system

First, a patio surrounded by walls and windows on all four sides must be equipped with drainage system to prevent rainwater from accumulating inside. If you do not provide an escape for water, it will always be standing water, which can lead to insect infestation and mold growth.

In addition, clogging with soil, dead leaves, and other debris can cause malfunctions. Therefore, maintenance is also essential, such as hiring a contractor to clean the drainage system or cleaning it yourself on a regular basis.

Even in a U-shaped patio with excellent ventilation, it is advisable to consider drainage system because three sides are still surrounded by walls and windows, which can easily trap moisture.

4-2. Hot in summer and cold in winter?

Another disadvantage of the house with patio is poor insulation. Most houses with patio have multiple large windows to enjoy a view of the patio from inside. It is also important to keep in mind that, in general, windows that are exposed to the outside air allow heat and cold air to flow in and out more easily, which makes a house hotter in summer and colder in winter.

In many cases, the electricity bill is higher than expected due to excessive use of heating and cooling systems to maintain comfort. To avoid these disadvantages, it is advisable to choose windows and walls with high insulation performance when considering a house with a patio.

4-3. Construction costs: consult your architect

The third disadvantage is higher construction costs. A house with patio has more building corners than a typical house. It thus requires more materials and reinforcements, which may increase the cost.

In addition, the cost of building a house with a patio can also increase because of the excessive attention to materials and design, "Since we are building a house with a patio, we want to create originality."

If you desire a special house design with a patio, we recommend that you consult with a home building specialist or architect. This is because by informing the architect of your total budget in advance, he or she will be able to propose a patio design that fits your budget.

japanesse-architects.com can introduce you to architects who can consult with you on making a house with a patio. If you are interested in designing a custom home with a patio, please use japanesse-architects.com's free consultation service.

4-4. Cost and time for maintenance

One of the drawbacks of patio is cost and time to maintain it in the long run.

Maintenance is required throughout the house 10-15 years after it is newly built. For example, when remodeling the exterior walls, the cost will be higher for a house with a patio, which has more exterior surfaces than a typical house.

In addition, many windows are used to view the courtyard from all angles, which increases the amount of cleaning labor. In the case of large windows that go up to the ceiling, you cannot reach the top. In such cases, the cost for a cleaning company will be required.

5. Summary

The best part of a house with a patio is that you can enjoy a private space shielded from the view of neighboring houses. You can enjoy it in a variety of ways, such as planting trees and flowers to enjoy nature, or enjoying a patio party with your friends and family.

However, the attractive patio also has some drawbacks. It is important to know these disadvantages before considering them.

If you want to make your ideal home with a patio without regret, please contact japanesse-architects.com for a free consultation. Our experts will help you find the right architect for your home.

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