Namba Parks – Osaka – Japan
When the Osaka Stadium of Osaka, Japan, adjacent to the Namba Train Station, went down in 2003, no one had the faintest idea that something so spectacular like the Namba Parks was waiting to come up. With the construction of the Namba Parks, not only has the image of Osaka undergone a change but also, the idea a shopping mall and a commercial space has faced a renovation.
Motivation behind the Namba Parks
Situated next to the station and close to the Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan, it did not take too much time for the owners of the Nankai Electric Company to realise that for a densely populated urban place like Osaka, the Namba Parks would bring a refreshing image makeover. And so, they gave the responsibility of building this 8 tiered shopping mall rooftop garden to The Jerde Partnership. Alongside the options of leisure like shops, international eating joints, parks, and so on there is also an office building in the complex called Park Towers which has about 30 stories.
Plan of the Namba Parks
The plan of the Namba Parks is unique with its eight levels which suddenly bring nature’s freshness in the dense city life of Osaka. The eight levels are adorned with tree groves, rocky clusters, vegetable gardens, waterfalls, ponds, streams, and so on. Such is the pattern of the landscape created that even in the heart of urbanity; the presence of nature is strongly felt. Once you start going up the levels, it is inevitable for you to get the feeling of standing atop a mountain while you are very much in the city.
Moving through the artistic arrangements are paths like canyons which can take you to the shops present in the 2nd and 5th floors and also to the restaurants which are situated on the 6th floor and serve national and international cuisines like Japanese, Korean, and Italian among other varieties. There is also an amphitheatre which keeps open the options of holding public functions and events at the venue. The design of the Namba Parks thus seems to be encouraging people to come out of their drab and mundane lives to interact with each other and to get connected with culture and light activities.
As the stairs of the Namba Park alight from the streets to the completely unique getaway destination, it comes as a surprise to see how the old concept of a retail park can be refreshingly designed in the heart of a busy city life where people can get a breathing space which takes away all their tensions for at least some time.