The Jewel Box

Private Residence — Highland Park, Illinois

To house and display the owner’s private collection of Asian art and antiques, MGLM created an intimate, richly detailed addition that soon became known around the office as “the Jewel Box.”

A unique combination of eclecticism and dedicated authenticity define this space. The project team searched in a Michigan forest for the perfect maple trunk to anchor cypress shelving as tokobashira in the Japanese tea ceremony-styled study. In the Chinoiserie Sitting Room, elaborate landscape murals by artist Christiaan Pretorius adorn the ceiling and walls. While these immersive indoor spaces encourage guests and family to contemplate the artworks, thematic details—including porcelain tile panels and Chinese Red corner trim—punctuate the cedar shingle exterior.

Although inspired by Asia’s architectural and artistic history, the addition utilizes modern LEDs and daylighting systems to reduce environmental impact.

Awards: Association of Licensed Architects Merit Award, 2012