Profit plays a big part in how urban spaces are used. Luckily, we sometimes see that low profits are good for the environment.
Osaka Japan housed a baseball stadium that few people cared to visit. In 2003, the stadium was shut down, but with its prime location near the Namba Train Station, folks knew it was a waste not to convert the building and utilize it for something that would indeed turn a profit. The Nankai Electric Railway, owner of the site, worked with architecture company Jerde to create a unique, artistic and practical application for the building. Jerde came up with turning the 8.33 acres of urban concrete into a productive office and retail complex that features 2.2 acres of lush gardens that welcome visitors in from the street.
We know that green roofs and urban gardens can significantly help reduce the temperature of concrete- and asphalt-covered cities, by as much as 7° or 8° Fahrenheit, so in Osaka’s harsh urban landscape, this burst of green, dubbed Namba Parks, is a welcome relief.
It's nice to see an eco-friendly revamp of existing space, rather than a giant demo and concrete re-build. The curves and levels of green are absolutely beautiful, so I’m hoping this project is a bit of inspiration for the ugly gray sprawl of US areas like downtown L.A. Be sure to stop by Jerde’s website to look at some of the spectacular photos of the building.
Via EnvironmentalGraffiti, Jerde; Photo via A Posh Sentinel