Katsura Imperial Villa

Many architectural enthusiasts are drawn to simple details, clean lines, balanced compositions, and a connection to nature, and those enthusiasts often cite traditional Japanese architecture for their design ideas.


Throughout its many stages of development, Japanese architecture has characteristically and expertly combined elements of nature and the man-made into sublime creations.

Although not widely known, the epitome of that combination is embodied in the Katsura Imperial Villa complex located on the outskirts of Kyoto.

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The villa complex exhibits stunning interiors as well as exquisite landscaping, often times expertly blurring the distinction between the interior and exterior.

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By focusing on Katsura Imperial Villa, we hope in future posts to explore the complex’s architectural lessons by understanding its historical development, the personalities involved in its creation, the characteristics of its particular style of architecture, and most importantly, focusing on the villa’s multitude of interior and exterior details that can inform our current craft of building and design.

MGLM receives an ALA Design Merit Award

MGLM receives a Design Merit Award from the Association of Licensed Architects!


This delicate North Shore addition adds six new rooms and an elevator – all of which function as petite gallery spaces for the homeowners’ Asian Art collection.


Each room was conceived in an entirely different aesthetic, including Japanese, Chinese, western European – even one room in the form of European-interpretation-of-Asian: a whimsical muraled “Chinoiserie.”