Soranoma literally means “sky room” in Japanese, and (in the context of Hebel Haus design) is a loggia-like outdoor space most often located on the second floor, or higher. A soranoma is different from a balcony in that it’s more enclosed on the sides, with the top being more or less open to the elements. Thus the “sky” reference. The sides are typically a combination of exterior walls, large window/door systems, and louvers.
It’s not uncommon for two sides to be connected to the home interior — usually the dining/kitchen, living room, or master bedroom — creating a conduit of natural light and fresh air. And being that it’s open to the sun and rain, it can be artistically arranged with greenery and other appropriate paraphernalia to add a touch of the outdoors to your home interior.
Most homes will have at least one balcony, but with all the hanging laundry, there’s usually not a whole lot of room for anything else. Western home styles might incorporate a first floor veranda or porch, which can ultimately be used for similar activities. However, first floor verandas generally have large awnings, and are thus darker, and they also don’t afford the same level of privacy that a soranoma does.
Soffits can be extended as desired to strike that perfect balance. Other aesthetic or practical features and addons might include soffit hooks for hanging plants and flowers, a porch sconce or two, and a water tap. Louvers allow for good air flow while still maintaining a degree of privacy. And from an aesthetic point of view, they go very well with Hebel Haus design, creating a sharp, modern, but yet simple look.