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How does the Japanese terrace – Engawa – help make the house bigger?

Elements of traditional Japanese architecture were borrowed by customer to create a country family home in the Moscow suburbs.

A one-storey residential building is designed to achieve the most panoramic views. The strong frame made of glued laminated timber supports the reed roof, and all openings between the posts of the frame are filled with HS-Portal® sliding doors. Each room has access to a wooden terrace Engawa, which surrounds the building along the perimeter. You can open all the sliding doors and the nature of each room will completely change. Now it is the largest and most wonderful room in Moscow suburbs. What

What is Engawa?

Imagine the simplest form of a rectangle surrounded by a slightly larger rectangle. The space between the inner and outer rectangles is Engawa – a large corridor under the roof, a transition zone that connects the rooms and the forest around. It is created by expanding the floor of the inner space to the outside. This is a room that defies traditional description. In Japanese culture, it has a social significance, representing an informal meeting place: a place for gatherings, greetings of neighbours and a cup of tea together. But this idea is worth trying in your own project, no matter where you live

The customer decided to use the Engawa concept with HS-Portal® terrace doors all around the house, giving each room direct access to the wooden deck that surrounds the building.

Engawa floor should be at the same level as the internal floor, without steps. When doors or glass walls are open, it is important to maintain the same level between the interior and the exterior, so that the spaces look as a unit. HS-Portal® sliding doors, which do not have thresholds, ideally combine the spaces of rooms and terraces: at the junction of the internal and external floors, there is only a 16 mm high rail. Each room has access to a covered terrace. The outer edge of the terrace floor is aligned with the roof. The roof should extend to the outer surface of Engawa to protect it from rain and obscure it from the sun.

This modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese idea has allowed the customer to create a house for a family holiday in harmony with the nature of Moscow region.

The photographs presented were used by the customer for inspiration.

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