Canal City Hakata is a commercial complex and has be devised as a city in a city. It was designed in the 1990ies by the Jerde Partnership. The architecture aims to create a spacious and interesting atmosphere with unusual or unique colors and shapes. The artificial canal runs right through the middle of the five floored entertainment complex, creating a lot of open space. It is comparatively green and a popular tourist destination. Canal City is one of the largest private developments in Japan’s history. However, it is in some ways a story that went well. For a change the installment of a big shopping center led to the survival and rejuventation of the surrounding area, for example of the traditional food marketes in the area which could benefit from the increased flux of potential buyers that were led into the vicinity by Canal City.
This is some further information on the architectural idea or the planning behind the complex and puts it into context with the development of “entertainment malls” on a global scale:
- This is a more general essay on urban development: Creative Clustering in Urban Japan – The Case of Fukuoka by Tai Wei LIM (from 2008)
- More on Jerde: Remembering America’s Mall Maestro
- Obituary of Jerde: The Movie Maker Architect
- Description on Jerde’s portfolio side (If you want to learn something about place making, you have come to the right place)
The kids playing. So much fun. And a little bit they still look like those kids that you find on the manga sketches from the 50ies ..., mischievous, cute, fearful, fascinated ...