Namba Parks was designed by Jon A. Jerde ,an American architect, professor at UCLA and author of several publications. Jerde has several urban interventions in the U.S., characterized by its spectacular facades. In Japan, aside of Namba Parks he has also designed another mall in Fukuoka, that we will discussed in a future post.The construction was executed by the company Mori Building Co. Beside the complex there is a huge, disproportionate and tasteless tower, which has nothing to do with the design of the park.
Namba Parks is a combination of 3 elements: a mall, a park, and a circulation space flowing through it. The mall resembles the idea of a small town. The shops are connected by bridges or face lively mini squares, enabling visitors to experience the space in a human scale, a kind of commercial promenade in heart of the city.The park is developed on terraces on the roof of the shops, evoking the shape of the gardens of Babylon. From afar, the park rises showing its hanging gardens as an irresistible attraction to a town thirsty of greenery.Its design is not rational at all, because of the undulating geometry of the park reflects the subtle route in traditional Japanese gardens, incorporating some Western elements, such as benches and fountains. A cascade of terraces offers both public and more private spaces, using techniques such as subtle changes in the texture of the floor, unevenness in the lawn or the incorporation of a particular type of tree.The third concept is what makes this complex unique: the metaphore of the Grand Canyon as a topic in the circulation of the building.