Yamada Architecture (YA) is a Kyoto-based
architectural design practice by
a California-trained architect, Shinya Yamada.
both international and domestic clients
create homes, commercial buildings, and more
in Kyoto, elsewhere in Japan, and in California,
through professional services that synthesize
clients' wishes and our creative expertise.
YA also helps our architecture clients
acquire real estate for the projects by
working with YA's partner real estate companies.
good architectural design can
enhance people's creativity and vitality
by highlighting the beauty
of ordinary natural phenomena,
for instance, the sky,
in hopes of creating moments that nurture
people's innermost minds.
Shinya Yamada, Architect
1st-class registered architect in Japan #352593
California licensed architect #C30253
A member of the American Institute of Architects
山田 真也 建築家
一級建築士 登録 第352593号
米国カリフォルニア州 登録建築家 第30253号
1972 Born in Kyoto, Japan
1996 Bachelor of Engineering,
1997 Richard Cutts Lundquist Architect
-single-family home projects in L.A.
1999 Master of Architecture,
Univerisity of California, Los Angeles
2000 Harold Zellman & Associates Architects
-single-family home projects in L.A.
2004 KFA Architecture
2008 Launched YA in the SF Bay Area
2009 Moved back to Japan
Worked with/at other firms
-restaurant full renovation projects
-single-family home projects
-horseback riding club
-office building renovation
2016 Yamada Architecture
-officially registered in Kyoto
(Kyoto Pref. Registration#(03A)02758)
-Machiya full renovations
-single-family home full renovation
-commercial building full renovation
-social services facility project
2003 The City of Los Angeles
Certificate of Appreciation for:
Pro bono service
Union Ave.- C. Chavez Community Garden
Revitalization Project Design + Construction
Design Studio Visiting Critic:
at Woodbury University
at Pasadena City College
[Health, Green Building, and
Traditional Japanese Architecture]
on Nichi Bei Times
"The Sustainability of Japanese Architecture"
at AIA East Bay Chapter
[Community Volunteer Project Experience in the U.S.]
at Council of International Fellowship Japan
2013 Pro bono service:
Stoup for St.Viator Monastery Chapel
Overseeing fabrication and installation
2017 Design Studio Visiting Critic:
at Kyoto Seika University
"Common Threads Beyond Decades"
at Pecha Kucha Night Kyoto Vol.38
[Small house that feels airy and spacious]
at ASJ Kyoto Studio
2023 Guest Lecture:
"The Sensibilities of Traditional
Residential Architecture in Kyoto"
at University of Maryland
Design Studio Visiting Critic:
Buildings are shelters that in a sense enclose a small portion of the universe we live in.
For Yamada, architecture is what allows people to experience the inherent power of the universe from inside of buildings.
When successfully highlighting the subtle yet omnipresent beauty of everyday natural phenomena, architecture can open up human minds and make people feel at ease.
In other words, architecture can let us be in touch with the deeper & broader perspectives offered by the universe, taking us beyond limitations of our individual life biases.
An architect is a trusted building design expert who stands by you, the project owner.
Your architect leads you through your project’s design and construction process, practically making most design decisions on your behalf and acting in the best interest of both you and the public.
As your architect, YA provides a special custom architectural design that creatively synthesizes your wishes and YA's design values while meeting various requirements such as your budget and the building regulations.
Then YA assists you find and hire a fair-priced quality builder.
During the construction YA regularly observes the site so the project gets built as designed and delivered to you per construction contract.
Those are what we architects usually do as standard architectural services.
As a rule of thumb, YA’s architectural service fee would be:
For new construction project:
10% of the resulting construction work bill
For renovation project:
15% of the resulting construction work bill
Payments are usually made in several installments across the project phases.
Please note additional fees and expenses may be incurred depending on your project scope and terms.
For further details on fees and expenses, please contact YA.
Please feel free to contact YA for inquiries via email or phone.
In your email or phone call, we would appreciate it if you could provide your preliminary project information as much as you can.
This would allow us to respond to you more helpfully, regardless of whether you eventually hire us or not. If you are currently looking for a property to purchase, please mention it so we could help accordingly.
Your information will be kept confidential and used only for our communication regarding your project. It won't be shared with any other party without your consent.
Preliminary project information list
(please share as much as you can)
renovation, addition, or new construction?
approximate floor area, size of building ( in SQM or SQFT )
existing property information: location, size, and if renovation: struct. type, years built
overall budget / funding plan
when you wish to complete
design requirements, wishes
particular problems to be addressed
(First Meeting Free of Charge)
Following your initial inquiry, YA may offer a meeting in YA’s office or via online ZOOM meeting for free of charge.
During this first meeting, please be encouraged to discuss your project information further in detail. Your preliminary budget, funding plan, overall schedule, and lifestyle wishes - no matter how vague or unarticulated they might be.
If you can, please share some reference images pertaining to your wishes, your lifestyle, and things that you like - even those that are seemingly unrelated to architecture. Photos of the existing property, drawings, and other property records would enable us to have more practical discussions.
Scope of the project, a realistic budget, YA’s service fees, payment terms, needs for other specialty design consultants, i.e. structural engineer, mechanical / electrical / plumbing consultants, etc., approximate completion target schedule, and major design requirements will also be discussed.
Based on this first meeting discussions, upon mutual consent YA may prepare a service proposal for your project. By signing this proposal document, you can officially get YA’s services started.
Fee: Email inquiries and first meeting are free of charge. Subsequent consultation meetings may be subject to an hourly rate-based fee.
Step 1: Schematic Design
In this phase YA first prepares a preliminary design package that consists of:
1) floor plan sketches,
2) rough 3d sketches,
3) a brief report on the site conditions and relevant regulations.
Your feedbacks on this preliminary design will be crucial to development of design.
Using your feedbacks, we keep revising the design, may try a few schemes if necessary, until the design requirements are adequately met and the design becomes to your liking.
We then along with you interview a qualified builder or a few of them to solicit an rough construction cost estimate from one of them, based on a set of schematic drawings listed below. When necessary for budget reasons, we revise the design.
The end deliverables of this phase would include:
1) floor plans,
4) preliminary specification table,
5) perspective sketches.
Fee: Usually 35% of YA service fee is billed upfront as a retainer that covers all services up to the completion of schematic design phase.
Step 2: Construction Documents
In this phase, the schematic design scheme is developed further in detail.
Technical details of architectural, structural, mechanical, & electrical system design will be designed, engineered, and documented for both construction and bidding purpose.
A set of more detailed drawings & specifications are produced to solicit an approximate construction cost estimate from a qualified builder. When necessary for budget reasons, we revise the design accordingly.
Fee: Usually 20% of the entire YA service fee when starting this phase.
If a structural consultant's service is required, additional structural design fee may be incurred.
Fees for mechanical & electrical design would not be incurred for most private residence projects or commercial projects of similar scope.
Step 3: Bidding & Negotiation
If deemed necessary and also some project time extension is permissible, another or a few other construction cost estimates could be solicited from other builders.
They would be compared & analyzed to help you select a builder. If a building permit is required by regulations, plans are submitted to public agencies during this step.
Additional agency fees and our processing service fee would be incurred if required by the regulatory requirements applied to your project.
When public agency permitting process is complete, we assist you review and sign a construction contract prepared by your builder.
Fee: Usually 20% of the total YA service fee upon signing the construction contract.
Step 4: Construction Administration
During the construction, the builder and YA hold a site meeting, in principle, every week.
YA performs site observations & visual inspections to see if your builder's work is executed fairly according to the design and quality as stipulated in the construction documents.
When necessary, we instruct corrective work. Usually upon confirming final completion of work, the project is handed over to you.
Fee: Usually 25% of the total architectural service fee payable upon completion