Concept site plan indicates meandering “moat” water feature through the project’s main shopping level.

 A tenant improvement prototype capturing the unique quality of the personalized retail product


Osaka City boasts a very rich and varied historic past. Drawing upon the reference of a Japanese feudal city, the concept for this project integrated a dramatic interpretation of a battered fortress wall surrounded by a moat. This meandering water feature then wound through the center of the project providing an inward focus to the mixed–use complex. Surrounding the site is dense industrial and residential development with some historic significance but unfortunately rather mundane and uninviting. The project’s use of reinterpreted local history worked to invite guests to leave this drab outer world and enter an inner world where they could enjoy the pleasing environment that was MORIGUCHI MOAT TOWN.

Exline Design was approached by Tokyo based INTERNATIONAL LIESURE CONSULTANTS (ILC) to generate an innovative themed retail concept for this industrial site in Osaka. Exline in turn invited Orlando based MORRIS ARCHITECTS to assist in the planning, design, and documentation of this extensive mixed–use concept. The conceptual package was generated in a very intense four–week concept design charette.

With a major emphasis on festive retail, themed food service, and entertainment, the multi–level complex also boasted a twenty–five–story hotel tower. Incorporating eight major retail anchors, the development boldly combined images of the region’s past with newly conceived images of today’s contemporary architecture. This striking contrast was to captivate onlookers from the highway and monorail line, facilitating the project to become a community–gathering place. The objective was to maintain a respect for the historic character of the local area, yet create a new design that spoke boldly toward a progressive future.



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