At first glance, Misu Entertainment Inc.'s La Cittadella, a mixed-use complex, looks like an Italian hill village, with floors stacked asymmetrically like Jenga blocks. But hidden inside the sloped walls is a 54,876-square-foot open-air retail center. In the city of Kawasaki, Japan, The Jerde Partnership has turned a multiple-level complex inside out, with an outdoor path that winds around the complex and across bridges. Outdoor dining terraces peek through the curved structures and an open-air plaza delights with light and water features. La Cittadella also has office space and entertainment venues. “It is cohesive and dramatic, yet simple and rich in its elements and materials,” says Christian Davies, vice president and creative director at FRCH.

Project Name: La Cittadella

Location: Kawasaki, Japan

Square Footage: 54,876

Design Architect: The Jerde Partnership, Venice, Calif.

Client: Misu Entertainment

Credits

General Contractor: Ohbayashi Corp.

Associate Architects: Ishimoto Architects Chiyoda-ku Masao Tachibana

Landscape Architect: EDAW

Lighting: Kaplan Partners Architectural Lighting

Consultants: Selbert Perkins Design Watermark Design