Jon Jerde

Jon Jerde
Born Jon Adams Jerde
(1940-01-22)January 22, 1940
Alton, Illinois
Died February 9, 2015(2015-02-09) (aged 75)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death Alzheimer's disease
Occupation Architect

Jon Adams Jerde, FAIA (January 22, 1940 – February 9, 2015) was an American architect based in Venice, Los Angeles, California, founder and chairman of The Jerde Partnership, a design architecture and urban planning firm specializing in the design of shopping malls that has created a number of commercial developments around the globe. Jerde became well known as an innovator in the design of malls and related spaces.[1] His firm has grown into a multi-disciplinary firm with offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Amsterdam, and Dubai.


Born in Alton, Illinois,[2] Jerde was a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. After early years working at Charles Kober Associates on multiple retail projects, including Plaza Pasadena, Jerde was commissioned by developer Ernie Hahn to design Horton Plaza,[3] across from Horton Plaza Park in downtown San Diego. The project is a five story outdoor retail complex, with the main passage being diagonally oriented to the street grid and at the time anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, and a Sam Goody music store; and connected to a Westin Hotel and the Balboa Theatre, resulting in an urban mixed-use center. It features long one-way ramps and sudden drop-offs, parapets, shadowy colonnades and cul-de-sacs. Its design breaks many traditional mall-design rules such as lowering ambient arousal levels and protecting the maximal lines-of-sight to merchandise. Its fragmented spaces are finished in a variety of bright colors. The project was completed in 1985.

Jerde's Horton Plaza[4] brought 25 million visitors in its first year, and as of 2004 continued to generate San Diego's highest sales per unit area. Jerde claimed that the project also sparked nearly $2.4 billion in redevelopment to the surrounding area and downtown core.[5]

The Jerde Partnership was involved in the design and planning of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. Based on the success of both Horton and the Olympics, the firm designed Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA in 1989, the Mall of America[6] in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1992, the Urban Entertainment Center Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, the pirate show and facade of the Treasure Island Casino in Vegas in 1993, the Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience in 1995 and the Bellagio in Las Vegas in 1998.

The Jerde Partnership

The firm developed into a major international company with key urban regeneration projects overseas, including Beursplein in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Canal City Hakata in Fukuoka, Japan, both in 1996, as well as other projects in Japan,[7] China and Europe. More recently Jerde has completed a string of urban mixed-use developments, including: Namba Parks in Osaka, Japan, awarded the Urban Land Institute Awards of Excellence: Asia Pacific, 2009; Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, Japan; Kanyon in Istanbul, Turkey and Zlote Tarasy in Warsaw, Poland.


Name City US State/
Completed Other Information Image
Horton Plaza San Diego California 1985
Fashion Island Newport Beach California 1989 Major redesign of original 1967 mall
Mall of America Twin Cities Minnesota 1992
Universal CityWalk Hollywood Los Angeles California 1993
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino Las Vegas Strip Nevada 1993 First collaboration with Steve Wynn
Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas Nevada 1995
Canal City Hakata Fukuoka Japan 1996
Bellagio Las Vegas Strip Nevada 1998
Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas Nevada 2001 First tower (right in image)
Roppongi Hills Tokyo Japan 2002
Wynn Las Vegas Las Vegas Strip Nevada 2005
Palms Phase II Las Vegas Nevada 2006 "Fantasy Tower" (left in image)
Palms Place Las Vegas Nevada 2008 Third tower
Namba Parks Osaka Japan 2009
Santa Monica Place Santa Monica California 2010 Complete overhaul of Frank Gehry's 1980 indoor mall, turning it into an outdoor mall. Final completed work.


Jerde was named the first recipient of the USC School of Architecture's Distinguished Alumnus award, in 1985, and became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1990.[8]


Jerde died on February 9, 2015 at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles; he had been suffering from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.[2] He was 75.


External links

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