Page D2.2 . 19 November 2003                     
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    Shopping Japanese Style

    continued

    Riverwalk is located along the Murakami River adjacent to the historic Kokura Castle. The development intends to combine Japanese traditions with a modern-day aesthetic. The design for RiverWalk Kitakyushu was said to be inspired by the idea crossroads. It connects the castle and its adjoining Katsuyama Park with the city's traditional retail district to the east.

    Dominating the skyline are five iconic forms representing the original five municipalities. A dynamic tension between the forms is enhanced by a symbolic use of color, with yellow representing wheat, brown representing the earth, and white, the purity of life. At the street level, the bold geometric forms are arranged to guide — and at times, to slow — circulation. The pedestrian walkway that meanders between the forms is punctuated by a series of water features.

    Like Namba Parks and La Cittadella, the 1,623,000-square-foot (151,000-square-meter) Riverwalk has a sizeable retail component. It also houses 188,000 square feet (17,500 square meters) of office space. But as a center for the high and popular arts, its theme is predominantly cultural. Besides retail and entertainment venues, the buildings house conference facilities and two world-class performance halls.

    Even during fragile economic times, Riverwalk Kitakyushu was fully leased before it opened. In 2001, The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design bestowed The Jerde Partnership with an American Architecture Award for its design concept. Perhaps this success story will help spark the imaginations of U.S. developers.

     

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    Designed by The Jerde Partnership, Riverwalk, in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, lines the Murakami River.
    Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano

    ArchWeek Image

    Interior of one of the iconic forms of Riverwalk.
    Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano

    ArchWeek Image

    Riverwalk faces the historic Kokura Castle.
    Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano

    ArchWeek Image

    "Life-style-focused" retail inside Riverwalk.
    Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano

    ArchWeek Image

    A central water feature of Riverwalk.
    Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano

    ArchWeek Image

    Site plan, Riverwalk, Kitakyushu, Japan.
    Image: The Jerde Partnership

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    Floor plans of Riverwalk.
    Image: The Jerde Partnership

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    Building sections, Riverwalk.
    Image: The Jerde Partnership

     

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