When Osaka’s baseball stadium closed its doors, it opened the door to a prime redevelopment opportunity in a new commercial district adjacent to Namba Train Station, the first stop from Kansai Airport. Given the location, owner Nankai Electric Railway asked Jon Jerde to create a gateway that would redefine Osaka’s identity. Jerde conceived Namba Parks as a large park, a natural intervention in Osaka’s dense and harsh urban condition. Alongside a 30-story tower, the project features a lifestyle commercial center (with 120 tenants) crowned with a rooftop park that crosses multiple blocks while gradually ascending eight levels.
In addition to providing a highly visible green component in a city where nature is sparse, the sloping park connects to the street, welcoming passers-by to enjoy its groves of trees, clusters of rocks, cliffs, lawn, streams, waterfalls, ponds and outdoor terraces. Beneath the park, a canyon carves an experiential path through specialty retail, entertainment and dining venues.