JERDE Announces a Global Slate of New Projects Showcasing Diverse Architectural Typologies

“We’ve always prided ourselves on finding creative design solutions to problems, no matter the typology, and the range of projects we are working on …

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Ultimate leisure and luxury awaits future residents and guests once Maryam Island is open – a hideaway in the center of natural beauty.

Maryam Island, Sharjah, UAE

Nestled in the center of Sharjah overlooking the Arabian Sea, Maryam Island is a 230,000 square meter site master planned by JERDE and currently under construction. The new site will offer mostly residential apartments complemented by retail outlets, four- and five-star hotels, waterfront food and beverage outlets, a relaxing 900-meter promenade, as well as a ‘souq’ and various facilities such as a spa, a fitness club, a swimming pool, and a children’s play area. Opportunities and offerings are provided for living, vacationing, socializing, conducting business, or simply carrying out the daily communal lifestyle. The island has been envisioned as a tightly packed, low scale environment of interwoven villages. This is the place in Sharjah where all communities can gather to exchange ideas, better understand and celebrate the cultural heritage of The Emirates.

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Currently under construction, JERDE creates a mixed-use project masterplan for Distrito Armida, attracting young professionals, families and business owners with a modern outlook and appreciation for urban living.

Distrito Armida, Monterrey, Mexico

With views of the iconic mountain skyline of Monterrey, JERDE’s latest masterplan was developed for Distrito Armida, a district situated in the south-eastern edges of San Pedro Garza Garcia known for its modern office offerings. To support these new offices, a full-spectrum community has been conceived in a space covering 25 hectares. The architectural studio has created a multi-phased mixed-use project design approach to support a fully serviced lifestyle. Phase one incudes an office tower and retail at the south end of the site which is currently under construction and set to open in 2021. Future phases include connection to an adjacent hospital and school, as well as residential towers that will open in a couple of years. Distrito Armida will attract young professionals, families and business owners with a modern outlook and appreciation for urban living.

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JERDE announces the development of Qiantan Cultural Center, the new connective cultural center at the epicenter of art, culture and creativity in Shanghai to open in 2023.

Qiantan Cultural Center, Shanghai, China

Ushering a new era of community and cultural exchange is Qiantan Cultural Centre, JERDE’s mixed-use project that builds on the heritage of Shanghai’s Pudong Districts. Currently under construction, the 2,240,000 square foot site includes the design of an urban ribbon that acts as a green belt to introduce nature into the projects and all of its connective elements, integrating the project’s 33-storey office and mid-rise hotel towers, cultural center and diverse retail offerings with the surrounding neighborhood. Within walking distance is the Huangpu River, and just upstream, the famed Shanghai Bund. The New Bund 31 will be the epicenter of art, culture, and creativity — a place that people feel naturally drawn to.

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Yet to proceed into the development stage, JERDE’s masterplan for Trinity Gardens allows for the infusion of visceral and organic energy as locals are encouraged to make their individual spirit shine through the neighborhood.

Trinity Gardens, Bucharest, Romania

To be developed over 35 hectares, JERDE has created a large-scale integrated mixed-use project masterplan for Trinity Gardens in Bucharest set to combine culture, shopping, entertainment, hotel, offices and residences. The district has been designed to breathe new life into the surrounding community while creating a new landmark within the city and country itself. Adjacent to the tranquil serene Herestrau Park and Lake, Trinity Gardens will be a natural complement that integrates nature into a vibrant and active destination, and a dynamic experiential environment — a new urban paradigm that brings man and nature together. Complemented by a promenade, central plaza, high-end fashion court, a retail arcade and a market hall, each space ensures that locals can bring their own individual spirit to infuse with the visceral and organic energy of the neighborhood.


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Background Information

About Paul Martinkovic

Paul Martinkovic has been with JERDE for 30 years and currently serves as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer and serves on the Board of Directors. He was instrumental in initiating, implementing and executing the founder ownership transfer to the new ownership structure in the firm in his previous position as Chief Financial Officer.

Since joining the firm in 1990, Paul has facilitated the Company’s transformation to meet the changing worldwide demand for design. This has included opening JERDE’s foreign offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Moscow. In addition to his duties as Chief Executive Officer, Paul is also responsible for JERDE’s global business development and marketing.

Paul is a plein air oil painter and accomplished guitarist. A Certified Management Accountant, Paul holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from Pepperdine University and Masters of Business Administration/E-Business from the University of Phoenix.


JERDE is a visionary urban design studio creating signature places that deliver memorable experiences and attract more than a billion people each year. For 40 years, JERDE has pioneered the concept of “Placemaking” with more than 120 major projects on six continents. Headquartered in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, each JERDE client works closely with an equity partner to take a boutique, collaborative approach to the creative process of design and architecture. JERDE places attract people providing lasting social, cultural and economic value, spurring further investment and revitalization. JERDE is one of only a few architectural firms awarded six ULI Global Awards for Excellence in addition to many of the industry’s other highest honors and recognitions.

JERDE has designed mixed-use, hospitality, and retail destinations throughout the world including Langham Place in Hong Kong, Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, D-Cube City in Seoul, and more recently the Grand Hyatt Sanya Haitang Bay in Hainan, China, a MIPIM Asia Gold Award winner for Best Hotel & Tourism Development. In its home country of the United States, JERDE has designed well known sites such as Bellagio in Las Vegas, Pacific City in Huntington Beach, as well as the makeovers of the world famous Santa Monica Place and Fashion Island Malls.

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11 Moonshot Ideas to Move the Region Forward: A Future 50 project

Behold a possible future. Three years ago, while hosting a visit for dignitaries from the United Arab Emirates who had come to learn about our Smart City …

This special thought leadership endeavor by the inaugural class of Future 50 reimagines the Columbus community under bold new ideas. Behold a possible future.

Three years ago, while hosting a visit for dignitaries from the United Arab Emirates who had come to learn about our Smart City work, I was posed a question many people think but very few ask: “When do you decide not to grow so that you can focus on quality of life at the size you are right now?”

If you look at cities like San Francisco and Austin as benchmarks for Columbus, you’d likely envy their population growth and booming tech sectors, but be appalled by their cost of living and growing inequity. In hindsight, their growth did not concern itself with bringing everyone along, rather it furthered the underlying divides and increased inequity.

Like my fellow Future 50 classmates, I love this community deeply and want to see Columbus fulfill its greatest potential. Central Ohio is the only place I’ve ever called home. I’ve spent the last decade working to advance the economic growth agenda and build the reputation of the region at the Columbus Partnership. Through my work at Smart Columbus, I have come to strongly believe in our ability to come together to make the impossible, possible. And one of those seemingly impossible things I believe we can do is improve conditions and opportunities for our most vulnerable residents while also growing our city with new people and businesses.

This piece of thought leadership is part of 11 Moonshot Ideas to Move the Columbus Region Forward: A Future 50 project.


The private sector should fight inequity

Closing the digital divide

Driving equity by funding women-owned businesses

Designing a more equitable region

Using data to guide public policy

Customer-centricity in social services

The need for a civic renaissance

A radical recalibration of education

Reimagining community-police relations

ISO: Ambassadors for science

Finding true work-life balance post-Covid

Why we did this project

I was honored to be included in Columbus CEO’s inaugural Future 50 class. In my mind, it was a recognition uniquely different than a list of the young and accomplished. Rather, it was a nod to “the crazy ones.” As Steve Jobs’ famous quote says, “The ones who see things differently … change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

The class is just that. Individuals who quit their corporate jobs to start nonprofits, educators pioneering new ways for young people to learn, researchers convicted to solve cancer, entrepreneurs disrupting their industries, relentless activists calling for change, and government leaders getting things done. This class has big ideas and big visions for what Columbus can be—and they are making it happen.

Given the ambition and passion of this group, Columbus CEO asked each of us to pitch a joint project. At the first meet and greet event, I was so impressed with the diversity and caliber of the ideas. Mine was a proposal for the class to co-author “Moonshot Magazine,” a takeover of Columbus CEO dedicated to the big ideas that this class had for making our community better. Sure enough, the class overwhelmingly voted to pursue this project, Editor Katy Smith said yes …

… And then 2020 happened.

What we deemed as normal in January has been almost entirely disrupted. Canceled travel, rescheduled weddings, remote work, facemasks as fashion statements, essential workers for the win, PPP Loans, little to no live entertainment, lines outside retail stores—not for crowds but for maintaining physical distance—virtual school, hybrid school, road trips are cool again, we all want antibodies, home improvement projects, plants, pandemic puppies, Netflix binging, TikTok challenges, Zoom calls, YOU’RE ON MUTE… Whoa, that’s a lot of change all at once… But one more really, really important thing: Black Lives Matter.

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Covid-19 and our national awakening to racial injustice has forced us to confront the inequalities that have permeated our culture and its institutions for generations. We’ve had to reckon with this confrontation not just on a national or global scale, but within ourselves, our own homes, neighborhoods, businesses and community.

Acknowledging the heaviness of the time and the need for big ideas, the Future 50 class reconvened this summer and put forth 11 bold concepts with underlying themes of greater empathy in the public discourse, updated expectations for public institutions and services, bigger bets on people and placemaking as economic drivers, and the idea that data will empower a new way of operating in the future.

The question I was asked several years ago by that UAE delegation assumed that for a city to grow, you’d have to sacrifice quality of life and leave people behind. In my experience studying other cities, this is too often the case. I think as you encounter the future envisioned herein, you will see 2020 is an opportunity we will get only once in our lifetimes: a chance to rebuild our economy, recalibrate our culture, and reshuffle priorities.

As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Let’s go change the world, Columbus!

Jordan Davis is director of Smart Columbus with the Columbus Partnership.

$1 million initiative launched to transform transportation services in Oakland

Lyft has donated $700,000 toward a $1 million grant to support Transform’s work on three transportation initiatives: Community-Driven Placemaking; …

Posted: 14 February 2019 | | No comments yet

This programme represents a coming-together of government, business and the non-profit sector, with the single goal of improving transportation options.


A partnership between Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Transform and Lyft has resulted in more – and improved – transportation options for the residents of Oakland.

Lyft has donated $700,000 toward a $1 million grant to support Transform’s work on three transportation initiatives: Community-Driven Placemaking; Mobility4All Partnership; and Bike Library at the Shed.

The investment will focus on improving community-led transportation solutions including a new, free bike library, free Lyft rides for low-income residents and new community parklets.

“We know that transportation means more than just a way to get around, it’s a key to social and economic mobility,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “This exciting partnership is about undoing the wrongs of the past, building the sustainable future our city needs and putting us on the track toward a multi-modal transportation network that truly meets the needs of all Oaklanders.”

‘Community-Driven Placemaking’ will involve a network of East Oakland organisations working on the design and creation of new parklets and future bike-share stations in East Oakland; focusing on how bike-share stations can improve placemaking, build community ownership and support local businesses.

Lyft and Transform are together funding the ‘East Oakland Collective’ to pilot a free ride programme for underserved populations: ‘Mobility4All Partnership’. Qualifying residents will have access to subsidised AC Transit passes, free Lyft rides and Lyft’s $5/month Community Pass for bikes and scooters.

“At Lyft, we believe it is our civic responsibility to make cities better places to live,” said Lyft co-Founder and President, John Zimmer. “We know that transportation is a major key to unlocking economic mobility. We also know that transportation has been inaccessible for far too many communities for far too long. We have a unique opportunity to set a new standard for transportation equity and inclusiveness.”

The Scraper Bike Team have agreed to assist in the establishment of the free, community-run ‘Bike Library at the Shed’. A portion of the bikes kept at the bike-lending shed will be available for monthly lending, and will be suitable for families with the needs of young children.

Champ Stevenson, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of the Scraper Bike Team, said: “We’ll help make sure the programmes and infrastructure reflect the existing community and culture here in deep East Oakland. We plan on employing folks from the community to assist with some of the equity work that will move Oakland in the direction the people believe it needs to be moving in.”