"At the time [mid-1970s], I thought of residential design as the creation of a place where people can dwell as they themselves intend. If they feel cold, they can put on an additional layer of clothing. If they feel warm, they can discard extraneous clothing. What is important is the space be, not a device for environmental control, but something definite and responsive to human life. From the point of view of the inhabitant, it may have been an anachronism -- in some respects an act of arrogance on the part of the architect. However, I stuck to my beliefs despite some friction with the client. That is perhaps the shortcoming as well as the strength of a self-educated architect. After the existing rowhouse was demolished, the site was divided into three parts. The Rowhouse in Sumiyoshi [aka Azuma House] was then built, with the middle third of the site made into an open courtyard.
No matter how advanced society becomes, institutionally or technologically, a house in which nature can be sensed represents for me the ideal environment in which to live. From a functional viewpoint, the courtyard of the Rowhouse in Sumiyoshi forces the inhabitant to endure the occasional hardships. At the same time, however, the open courtyard is capable of becoming the house's vital organ, introducing the everyday life and assimilating precious stimuli such as changes in nature."- Tadao Ando in Tadao Ando 1: Houses and Housing (2007). Top image found here and bottom image found here.