Jon Jerde

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Jon Adams Jerde

Born(1940-01-22)January 22, 1940
DiedFebruary 9, 2015(2015-02-09) (aged 75)
Los Angeles, California, US

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, Orange County, CA, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.


Born in Alton, Illinois,[2] Jerde was a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

Horton Plaza[edit]

After early years working at Charles Kober Associates on multiple retail projects, including Plaza Pasadena, Jerde was commissioned by developer Ernie Hahn to design the Horton Plaza shopping center [3] in downtown San Diego. The project was a five-story outdoor retail complex, with the main passage being diagonally oriented to the street grid and at the time anchored by Nordstrom, The Broadway, and J.W. Robinson's department stores; and connected to a Westin Hotel and the Balboa Theatre, resulting in an urban mixed-use center. It featured long one-way ramps and sudden drop-offs, parapets, shadowy colonnades and cul-de-sacs. Its design broke many traditional mall-design rules such as lowering ambient arousal levels and protecting the maximal lines-of-sight to merchandise. Its fragmented spaces were 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] Later the mall would lose business to centers in nearby Mission Valley as they renovated and to big box retailers, from a limited ability to capitalize on the resurgence of foot traffic on the adjacent Gaslamp District streets due to its physically being cut off behind parking garages, and from the 2010s retail apocalypse,[6] so that by 2019 it was set to close and be converted to a workplace for the tech industry.

Other work[edit]

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[7] 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[edit]

The firm has 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,[8] China and Europe. Jerde is also responsible for a string of landmark 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. More recently the firm has designed: The Vermont, a multifamily development in Los Angeles's Koreatown[9], the Grand Hyatt Sanya Haitang Bay Resort and Spa in Hainan, China[10]; Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center in Cancun, Mexico[11]; and Pacific City in Huntington Beach, CA.[12]


Name City US State/
Completed Other Information Image
Horton Plaza San Diego California 1985 Jerde hortonplaza.jpg
Fashion Island Newport Beach California 1989 Major redesign of original 1967 mall Fashion Island NewportBeachCA photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Mall of America Twin Cities Minnesota 1992 Mall of America interior three-level corridor.jpg
Universal CityWalk Hollywood Los Angeles California 1993 Universal CityWalk Hollywood 5.JPG
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino Las Vegas Strip Nevada 1993 First collaboration with Steve Wynn Treasure Island (4068177090).jpg
Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas Nevada 1995 LasVegas-FremontStreet.jpg
Canal City Hakata Fukuoka Japan 1996 Jerde canalcityhakata.jpg
Bellagio Las Vegas Strip Nevada 1998 Bellagio fountain show 2010 las vegas.JPG
Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas Nevada 2001 First tower (right in image) Palms Casino Resort.jpg
Dentsu Building Tokyo Japan 2002 Dentsu.jpg
Roppongi Hills Tokyo Japan 2002 Roppongi Hills from Tokyo Tower Day.jpg
Wynn Las Vegas Las Vegas Strip Nevada 2005 Wynn 2 (2).jpg
Palms Phase II Las Vegas Nevada 2006 "Fantasy Tower" (left in image) Palms Casino Resort.jpg
Palms Place Las Vegas Nevada 2008 Third tower Palms Place Las Vegas.jpg
Namba Parks Osaka Japan 2009 150328 Namba Parks Osaka Japan02s5.jpg
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. Santa Monica Place Macerich.jpg


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.[13]


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.


  1. ^ Ed Leibowitz, "Crowd Pleaser", Los Angeles, February 2002, pp. 48ff.
  2. ^ a b Colker, David. "Jon Jerde dies at 75; L.A. architect redefined shopping mall, urban spaces". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Showley, Roger (13 February 2015). "Horton Plaza architect redesigned us". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  4. ^ New Left Review
  5. ^ Archived 2013-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Balcony press". Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  9. ^ "Architect Magazine".
  10. ^ "press release".
  11. ^ "Mira website".
  12. ^ "LA Times".
  13. ^ Frances Anderton, "Jon Jerde, Design Czar for the 1984 Olympics Who Remade Retail Destinations, Dies at 75", KCRW, February 9, 2015.

External links[edit]