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A cup of tea with... Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates

Ritratto dell'architetto Tomohiro Hata
© Tomohiro Hata

Tomohiro Hata, born in 1978, opens his studio for only

27 years old and immediately demonstrated great ability and determination by winning the 1st prize at the Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition in the same year.

The famous international competition of ideas on the theme of the residence has been held every year since 1965 and explores new potential in architecture through the design of the residence.

In 2005 Tomohiro Hata wins with the project of a housing complex that offers an open vision on the future of building planning. And among the figures present on the jury that year, there are also Tadao Ando and Richard Rogers, who see in him a promise for the architecture of the years to come.

In the projects he later created, a fluid and open approach is always found, in which volumes alternate with voids without interruption, with terraces, glimpses and continuous views of domestic spaces.

In this short interview he introduces us to one of his latest works, which, although contemporary, once again draws on the Japanese tradition of the 12th century: the harmonious relationship and skilful integration between inside and outside - which we find in the Imperial Villa of Katsura in Kyoto. - is the starting point for the conceptual diagram of the internal garden that the architect creates in his urban project.


Let's start with the first question to break the ice: How do you get your tea?

I prefer to drink coffee in the morning and reserve tea for special occasions.

To this day, what do you think is your most significant and representative work of your design approach? Is there a project that you consider emblematic to tell who are you?

Loop Terrace is the project that best represents my design approach. Its shape takes inspiration from the Imperial Villa of Katsura: as the floors of the villa rotate in order to obtain a circular shape with a large garden in its core, so in my project I have created a flow of spaces that blur the boundaries between inside and outside. . The internal walls, which overlook the courtyard, have large windows and full-height openings creating a continuous communication.

Loop Terrace
©Toshiyuki Yano

What do you think is a decisive project (of others) for your professional career? Who do you consider your teacher or an important reference for your work?

Certainly the Imperial Villa of Katsura is an important reference for my work.

What will be the direction for the future of Japanese home architecture? Climate change, the aging of the population, the evolution of our daily habits due to the pandemic, which changes can affect the living spaces of tomorrow and how?

I believe that all changes, and especially changes due to unknown factors, are closely intertwined and have a great impact on our daily life.

These events have always happened and have led us to what we are today, to what we live now: each change is never dominant individually but contributes to much more complex evolutions. I am convinced that it is quite important to always evaluate these changes in their complexity and entirety, trying to understand the universal contribution of each action within the entire process of change.


Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates 

1978 Born in Hyogo Prefecture

2001 Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture, University of Kyoto

2003 Master of Engineering in Architecture, University of Kyoto

2003/04 Worked at Shin Takamatsu & Associates

2005 Founded Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates

add:#201 design creative center Kobe 1–4 onohama, chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan, 651–0082 mail: URL:


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