Jurors were impressed by the numbers. For LaLaport Koshien in Nishinomiya City, Japan, RTKL & Associates adeptly squeezed 913,000 square feet of retail space on a 87,000-square-foot site. That site, a former zoo in a tree-lined area, inspired the new design. A central S-shape artery offers a walk through nature, as architectural elements and environmental graphics recall mountains, woods, parks, rivers and oceans. One of three main visitor courts terminates in a glass wall that offers views of distant mountains, and other indoor-outdoor spaces further blur the boundaries with nature, and prevents nearby residences from judging the building as fortress-like. In all, judges praised the building plan's “masterstroke quality.”

Project Name
LaLaport Koshien

Location
Nishinomiya City, Japan

Square Footage
913,000

Architect
RTKL Associates Inc.

Client
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.

Credits

General Contractor
Obayashi Corp.

Local Architect
Obayashi Corp.

Graphic Design
RTKL Associates

Lighting Design
Lum Architectural Lighting

Landscape Consultant
Mahan Rykiel Associates

Signage & Graphic Fabricator
Nagashima