The 3.7 hectare site of the former Nankai Stadium presented a prime redevelopment opportunity in Osaka. Given the site’s position as one of the few great nodes of human arrival into Osaka, local rail conglomerate Nankai Electric Railway decided to convert the site into a new urban center that would serve as a gateway to the city.
Inspired by the power of nature as both a regenerative force and a universally understood element that connects old and new, East and West, Jerde conceived of nature as a form of urban intervention and designed Namba Parks as a natural amenity that offers relief from the hard, bustling city, creating a new experience for Osaka.
The project’s interior is a man-made canyon. Originally conceived by the client as a simple concrete passageway to connect the north and south parcels of the project site, Jerde proposed a canyon instead. Constructed from bands of colored stone, the canyon reinforces the project’s connection with nature while forming the primary circulation pattern. This path is carefully sculpted to produce a sense of mystery and create a variety of coves, caves, valleys and other exploratory spaces. At selected locations, varying with each level, direct access from the canyon is provided to outdoor terraces located on the park plane. Glass bridges connect the two sides of the canyon, by night becoming arcing tubes of light. All vertical spaces are sky-lit from the park above.
Namba Parks forms a dramatic new identity for the city. Alongside a 30-story office tower and 46-story residential tower, the project features a new lifestyle commercial center with a rooftop park that crosses multiple blocks while gradually ascending eight levels from the streets of the city. The sloping nature of the park serves as a green and highly visible oasis in a city where nature is sparse. By connecting to the street, the sloping park plane will draw people up and into the project among groves of trees, green spaces, water features and outdoor terraces, where they can dine, read, socialize, or simply taking in views of the city.
Namba Parks’ retail and entertainment venues are accessed through a “figure 8” circulation path that ascends through the canyon interior up the sloped park plane. A series of plazas, each with a water feature or event, create a sequential path of discovery. At the center of the project is the grand plaza, a three-story tactile and organic space embellished with greenery, foliage and water to rejuvenate the spirit. As a vibrant lifestyle center, Namba Parks inserts a much-needed natural amenity into Osaka’s dense city core, generously weaving rich landscaping and other natural elements with specialty retail, entertainment and dining, to create a new unique place that celebrates the interaction of people, culture and recreation.
Namba Parks Osaka - Building InformationLocation: Osaka, Japan
Project name: Namba Parks
Client: Nankai Electric Railway
Location: Osaka, Japan
Program: Specialty Retail; Grocery Market; Dining, F&B; Plazas & Open Space; Parking
PHASE I: Site Area- 38.33 Acres
Gross Building Area- 140,000 sm
Gross Leasable Area 80,000 sm
Office Area- 60,000 sm
Retail & Entertainment Area- 40,000 sm
Common Space- 25,000 sm
PHASE II: Retail & Entertainment- 75,000sm
Residential- 38,000 sm (344 units)
Year: Completion- Phase I, 2003 | Phase II, 2007
Project by: The Jerde Partnership
Team: Design Principal- Tammy McKerrow
Text: Courtesy of The Jerde Partnership
Images: Courtesy of The Jerde Partnership
Namba Parks images / information from The Jerde Partnership