Sun City Tower, Kobe

Designed by: Richard Beard Architects
For client: Half Century More Floor area: 46500.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Co-Living Complex of the Year

Public Score
3.65 Function
3.28 Innovation
3.23 Creativity
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The integrated team of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects collaborated closely with the client to design an urban solution that fosters community, both internally and externally. With the 35-story tower anchoring the northwest corner

About the Project

Significant design consideration was given to create an environment for active Japanese seniors that would be culturally sensitive, appealing, and residential in character while providing residents with amenities and services equivalent to a five-star hotel. Sun City Tower Kobe includes 483 independent living units and range in size from 40 to 100 sqm. The distinguishing glassy "lantern" at the top of the southwest corner of the tower is a signature element housing the project's premium units. 80 skilled nursing units are located in the lower 3-story base.

The primary goal was to create a rich diversity and identity of amenities at ground level that take fullest advantage of light, sun, and gardens. Public amenities include various lounges, library, atelier, mahjong, karaoke, billiards, and a 500-seat auditorium for events, dancing, and wellness classes. Full fitness facilities including pool, spa, exercise, and massage rooms compliment social amenities. The Sky Lounge and restaurant provides community dining with spectacular views from the 34th floor and ensure a commanding sense of comfort and luxury. A richly landscaped central courtyard offers garden views from the project's ground floor public spaces and connects with an interior loop promenade.

What’s unique about it

The Kobe Tower has a unified design from concept to details and across architecture, interiors, and landscape. Themes of elegance, luxury, and a strong connection to nature run throughout the complex. The project is broadly composed of a tower, courtyard, and promenade which encircles the courtyard and connects the building amenities. Developing a strong connection with nature was paramount to the project and its residents. The tower element is located to the northwest corner so as not to dominate the site, allowing nature to feature prominently both in the courtyard and the surrounding gardens. The amenity spaces open to either the courtyard or distant vistas through designed view corridors; always keeping nature in sight.
The concept of a “peaceful harbor” drives the selection of materials, colors, and proportions for the interiors. Light wood, white stone, and bright, neutral tones at the ground level gradually give way to dark wood, rich stone, and powerful colors on the upper floors. The light lower floors engage with the greenery of the courtyard and gardens while the darker tones above create a dramatic frame for city, water, and mountain views.
Through unity of design concept, innovation in luxury senior living, and a unique blending of western and Japanese building traditions, the Sun City Tower Kobe has set a new standard for senior living in Japan and the world.

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Left: Locating the tower in the corner of the site allows the large sun-filled central courtyard to anchor the surrounding promenade. The subtle changes in massing and material expression help differentiate program elements throughout the project. Ri

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Left: The meticulously detailed gardens and courtyards are essential to providing a multitude of unique indoor/outdoor experiences. Right: Promenade circulation focuses on engaging the resident community with ever-changing garden views and serene atmos

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Libraries, lounges, dining areas, and more surround the central courtyard. While promoting resident interaction, the promenade common spaces provide a loop of familiar and engaging garden environments.

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Generous and relaxing lounges provide an intimate space for residents awaiting city shuttles and other public services. Located near the entry pavilion, these lounges serve as an interface with the surrounding community, transit hubs, as well as cultural

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Sun City Hall is multi-functional room that can be divided into thirds to support classes, dancing, Tai-chi, performance, and resident assembly.

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The aquatic facilities are an essential component of the health and wellness programs at Kobe Tower. Located on the 6th floor, the pool, spa, and fitness facilities act as an extension of the community spaces on the lower levels.

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Based on the traditional Japanese ofuro, this serene spa facility allows residents to enjoy a private rooftop garden and a heightened richness in materiality.

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Located on the 34th floor, the Sky Lounge is equipped with general to private dining areas, luxurious atmosphere, and expansive views across the Kobe skyline.

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Design Architect: Richard Beard Architects Landscape: SWA Group Interiors: BAMO Photography: Steve Hall Local Architect of Record: AAR

Location of project:
Richard Beard Architects

SWA Group

Hall+Merrick Photographers

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