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Katsura Imperial Village

Ben van Berkel
Landmark, Public space

Ben van Berkel:

“When I was 19 years old, I was backpacking on my own in Japan while I was working as a graphic designer.  I had talked a lot about architecture at the time with my mentor and he told me to visit the Katsura Palace. I went there and already at that time you had to book it in advance to visit. It was then that I realized that the permanence of architecture can have such an impact on you. That experience was so powerful, so unicentric. I studied a lot about how the Japanese introduced their tea ceremonies around the world, how they use these palaces and the ritual codes of health and the balance of life. I thought if you could bring that into architecture then that would be great... And that’s the reason why I wanted to become an architect.”