Umekita Park (tentative name)
Overall Plan of the Park Site
With “‘MIDORI (green)’ serving as inspiration and driving force for the future” as a design concept, the south park is being designed as an open urban park and the north park as a more naturalistic urban oasis with lush planting, each facing and creating stronger ties with the surrounding areas (in the JR Osaka Station direction and the Shin Umeda City direction). The design of the undulating landforms across the north and south parks, the highest at approximately 3 meters, combine to form three key spaces—Reflection Lawn, Umekita Grove, and Step Plaza. Creating open spaces and perspectives with depth and three-dimensionality enhances the value of the experience for park visitors.
Images of the South Park
Reflection Lawn, featuring premium natural grass and a water feature. Events of a 10,000-person capacity can be held through the integrated use with the large-canopy event space.
Terraced hills where people can relax in the shade of the trees. Visitors can partake in a diverse range of activities in the south park.
Entry Garden, a garden space where people can spend time surrounded by flowering plants that vary season by season.
Images of the North Park
Umekita Grove, a rest and relaxation space featuring lush planting and dynamic water features (a pond and waterfall). Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in the spring on the hilltop.
A water feature designed for a variety of experiences is situated at the southwest entrance to the north park.
A stone wall and waterfall that exhibit the quality craftsmanship of Japan. In fall, visitors are immersed in the colors of seasonal foliage.
The planting design aims to evoke the beauty of Japan’s seasons throughout the year with beautifully colored fall foliage, such as maple and katsura, and spring flowers such as Japanese iris and azalea, and of course cherry blossoms, offering a new cherry blossom viewing spot in Osaka.
The planting incorporates vegetation native to satoyama (managed zones bordering foothills adjacent to human settlements) growing on the Uemachi Plateau, where the history of Osaka originated, and the hills in the Osaka area. As well as expressing the local Osakan landscape identity, the planting design will exhibit the essence of “Umekita” by introducing symbolic “moist ground” waterside planting, which hearkens back to the history of Osaka as a water city and reflects its connections with the Yodo River and Nakano Island, which are the roots of the history of the project site.
- Function of creating bustle
Creating a bustling vibe through event spaces that achieve a high level of activity for Osaka, which will attract a diverse range of local visitors, as well as tourists from around the world.
- Function of innovation
Contributing to the creation of life design innovation* by making use of the interactions between a diverse range of citizens and users who gather at the park due to the location of the terminal.
*Creation of products and services for people to live healthy and affluent lives, including, but not limited to, wellness, lifestyle and edutainment.
- Function of cafes and restaurants
Cafes and restaurants support pleasant park use as rest, relaxation, and gathering spaces for visitors.
Buildings and other structures will mainly be developed possessing these three functions. Establishing the park facilities will enhance the park’s convenience and its bustling vibe, thereby raising the appeal of ‘MIDORI (Green)’ overall, and it will draw an array of people from Japan and abroad. It will also offer new experiences and learning opportunities for park visitors, and create innovation through experimental demonstrations.
The facility layout is being designed to enable enjoyment of the expanse of the park and its linked activities with each of the park facilities with the above three functions arranged around the edge of the large green space reserved at the center of the north and south parks.
- Large-Canopy Event Space
A covered event space connecting directly with the new station. Capable of holding a diverse range of events.
- Information Center
A comprehensive information and guidance center for the park and town situated at the town’s entrance. The concept for this facility is “ethical-tainment” (“ethical” plus “entertainment”), and it provides a space where visitors can enrich their lives while enjoying their time in an urban park. In addition to the functions provided by the information and guidance center, it offers a planning space where an ethical and sustainable lifestyle can be observed, with a multipurpose gallery available for rent to companies and other organizations. The facility is to be managed by Toppan Inc. in partnership with a joint venture operator.
- café & Restaurant Building
Eating and drinking facilities where people can rest and relax while enjoying Reflection Lawn’s high-quality grassy open space and events.
Next Innovation Museum (tentative name)
The Next Innovation Museum, located inside the urban park, is to be operated under the theme “inno-tainment” (“innovation” plus “entertainment”) jointly by two companies, namely by Total Media Development Institute Co., Ltd., which has a proven track record in the design, construction, and operation of many cultural facilities, including Nifrel (Suita City) and átoa (Kobe City); and by Takuya Nomura Office Co., Ltd., headed by the general producer for Grand Front Osaka Knowledge Capital.
This is a new style of museum offering “goods” that contribute to life design innovation, such as new products, technologies, services, and art, along with a variety of experiences, such as events and programs. Plans include a large 15-meter-high exhibition room, a foyer that can also be used for events, and dining and sales facilities that can be used by park and museum visitors. The aim is to create a contact point between those providing content (companies, developers, researchers, artists) and the general public which consumes such content.
- Sports Cube
- A facility integrated with an outdoor terrace offering exercise and health exhibitions, events, programs and other experiences.
- Party Restaurant
- An eating and drinking facility that can be enjoyed for all purposes, from daily use to special occasions, in a space surrounded by lush greenery and lighting.
- Everyone’s Cube
- A space available for versatile use, including various corporate activities, and also attached to eating/drinking facilities and freely usable spaces where citizens can rest, relax and gather, serving as a base for community activities.
- GGN (Landscape design and Design lead)
GGN is a landscape architecture company founded in Seattle in 1999. It has designed a number of representative works, including Lurie Garden (2004) in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) in Washington, DC. This landscape architecture group has received global recognition, having received the National Design Award in 2011 and an award from ASLA, an authority in landscape architecture, in 2017.
“This park is GGN’s first project in Japan,” explains Makie Suzuki. The memories possessed by this land, the stone walls of Osaka Castle and other examples of Japanese craftsmanship, Osaka’s culture of having built many bridges, and the inspirations coming from being a water city are incorporated into the design. The importance of public space in the city center and connections to the region were also kept in mind. Efforts have been dedicated to the planting design with scenery distinct to the four seasons, with woody plants and flowering plants that are indigenous to Osaka and those that give a sense of Japan. It is our hope that this park will become a new attraction in Osaka and loved by its citizens.”
- SANAA (Large-Canopy Facility: Schematic design, Design development, and Supervision)
Established in 1995 by two architects, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Louvre-Lens (France) and New Museum (U.S.) are among its many architectural works. Winner of numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2004 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2010.
“The large canopy of approximately 120 meters in length from north to south will be gently undulating to be in concert with the landscape of the urban park. Arranging the semi-outdoor Large-Canopy Event Space, Information Center and Cafe & Restaurant Building each under the one roof connects the inside and outside naturally to become a place that is open to the park and region.”
- Tadao Ando (Next Innovation Museum [tentative name]: Design supervision)
Architect born in Osaka in 1941. After traveling around the world, he self-educated in architecture. Major works include the Pavilion of Japan at the Universal Exhibition of Seville (Expo 1992 Seville) and the Osaka Prefectural Chikatsu Asuka Museum.
Winner of numerous awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the International Union of Architects (UIA) Gold Medal in 2005 and the Japanese Order of Culture in 2010.
“The Umekita 2nd Project, located in a hub linking Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, is an urban development project unlike any other in Japan. I see the creation of a vast green park in this area where various logistics and information facilities are concentrated as an extremely significant project in terms of thinking about the ideal form of future cities as well. The Next Innovation Museum is being designed as a green box by embedding a large portion of the functions underground and greening the walls aboveground so as to have an exterior that blends in with the surrounding park landscape. I envision this becoming a space where people can come and ponder the future in a lush green environment.”
and Area Management
As an initiative for sustainable urban environmental management, JV9 plans to establish a corporate organization for operating the park and managing the area in an integrated manner under the Osaka City-designated administrator system. Plans include maintenance and management of the highest quality, high-quality landscapes, and the provision of town information suitable for the vicinity of Osaka Station. The aim is to create the project concept of “Osaka MIDORI LIFE,” and to enhance the value of the entire Umekita area, including Grand Front Osaka.
In addition, as pioneering initiatives for urban public spaces, there are plans to incorporate and support experimental demonstrations for new products and services for innovative creation by various companies and research institutes. There are also plans to carry out “placemaking*” for everyday venues, which will contribute to the well-being of citizens, workers, and town visitors, and plans to attract and host events which will offer extraordinary experiences.
Going forward, plans will be put into practice in collaboration with a broad range of attractive service providers and content planners to bring these initiatives to life. Also, as part of the efforts to build an ecosystem supporting sustainable management, there will be an investigation regarding introducing endeavors such as co-sponsorship programs that target companies who are aligned with the project’s plan concept and the park’s sustainability values and measures.
*Creating spaces that have a bustling and comfortable vibe based on multifaceted considerations encompassing design, as well as methods of use and utilization.
- Rental and Provision Services (illustrative examples)
Provision of rental furniture, portable batteries, and other equipment to support comfortable use and full active usage of the park and flexible workstyles outdoors.
- Participatory Programs (illustrative examples)
Attracting and hosting a diverse range of programs to enrich everyday life in the city center where people can participate after work on weekdays, or enjoy shopping with family on days off.
- Extraordinary Events (illustrative examples)
Attracting and hosting events offering special memorable experiences that make use of the park’s diverse range of spaces and seasonal charms.
- Experimental Demonstrations (illustrative examples)
Provision of venues for citizens and users to experience the advanced products and services of companies, universities, and other such institutions.