| 19 : 00 – 13 February 2019 |
Sun City Kobe Tower by Richard Beard Architects is a 35-story apartment for senior residents located near Kobe Sea in Japan.
The neighbourhood of this senior living apartment includes several art and national museums in addition to splendid views of Mount Rokko on its north side. Tucked away to the northwest side of the entire plot, Kobe tower is features pavilions ensuring pedestrian friendly experience.
Central courtyard with pedestrian-friendly space
The asymmetrical location of the tower helped to create a expansive garden and a buffer zone around it. The courtyard houses the public amenities such as library, tea lounge etc. with hints of Japanese features. The landscape of the garden courtyard have elements inspired from the city, local art and nearby mountains. The seamless interiors of the apartments and other spaces lets the inhabitants a sense of peace and tranquil. The project has won several awards and honors from AIA in Senior housing category.
Entrance portico with wooden screens
Swimming pool has curved metal roofing
From the Architects –
With breathtaking views of Mt. Rokko to the north and a vast waterscape on south, Kobe sits as a strip of land with phenomenal views both inland and sea. It is located one block from Kobe Sea on a tree-lined boulevard that includes the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and several national museums.
Kobe tower amongst its neighborhood
The 500,000-square-foot Sun City Kobe Tower complex provides the ultimate in senior living through attention to detail and amenities. The resultant is a vibrant community in which residents can thrive. The design seeks to create a living environment that represents a seamless merger of architecture, landscape, and interiors. It also celebrates the unique city and it’s environment.
Tall glass windows provide great views of the garden pavilion
Along the street, a series of low-scale pavilions establish a pedestrian-friendly experience. The pavilions feature gently curving roofs clad in metal that create a modern sculptural feel and hint at more traditional Japanese building forms and the sea beyond.
Low-scale pavilions covered with metal roofs
Location of tower –
Unlike many urban developments, the 35-story, 483-unit apartment tower (plus 98 nursing units) is pulled to the northwest corner of the three-acre site, instead of the center of the property. The asymmetrical tower location allowed the team to develop a large, sun-filled central courtyard and a rich variety of perimeter gardens that create a buffer from the adjoining streets.
View of the courtyard from the glass enclosed public spaces
Around this courtyard, arranged as a loose quadrangle and connected by a partially glass-enclosed promenade, are public amenities: tea lounge, library, auditorium, communal baths, and dedicated rooms for mah-jongg and karaoke.
A Japanese screen-like porte cochere is near a large, serene, water feature at the entry. A garden level promenade circulates around the central courtyard offering continuous garden views, access to amenities, and encouraging resident interaction. The architectural strategy for the tower was to create a ‘lantern’ expression at the top of the tower that contains all the largest residential units and the project’s main restaurant and bar.
Rooftop restaurant and bar
Composition of Kobe tower –
The composition of the tower facade conveys a very modern design, with an inter-locking of volumes and minimalist glass guardrails. The gently shifting colors combined with careful massing create a slender and asymmetric façade. Most of the tower residences have ocean and city views and the form of the tower produces many corner windows.
Corner glass windows along the balconies
The landscape concept for the project was to incorporate the elements of city and mountain into a singular vision, not individual gardens separated by building forms. Mt. Rokko has diverse seasonal trees, is a popular place for bird watching, and is also famous as a great quarry and water source.
Traditional Japanese wooden screens
The City of Kobe’s art festivals are very popular among the locals and visitors. Responding to that rich art scene, art was incorporated as a core element to the design. Within the project site, a series of interconnected garden courtyards seem to stretch through the building itself. This forms a linkage of the interior and exterior, framing the experience through nature.
Water feature in central courtyard
Fresh, light and airy interior spaces
Interiors of Kobe Towers –
The interior was developed in tandem with the building and landscape design to create a seamless environment. The interior design concept was to create a “peaceful harbor” for those within its walls and gardens – a place of tranquility and comfort, beauty and serenity. This concept drives the selection of interior materials, colors, and atmosphere. At the ground level, light wood, white stone, fresh colors and garden views create a casual, relaxed mood in keeping with waterfront location.
Reception, library, activity, tea lounge and Sun City Hall all look into a luscious garden oasis. On the 6th floor, there is a roof-top swimming pool, and ofuros for men and women. Here one is close to the city views yet high enough to enjoy privacy and serenity of a luxurious spa environment.
Swimming pool and spa area
At the top of the tower are the 34th floor and 35th floor dining and lounge spaces, where dark wood, luxurious stone, rich colors and expansive windows create a dramatic frame for the views of city, sea and mountains. The graceful and elegant spaces combined with the varied landscapes below offer residents an amazing level of comfort and opportunity.
Stunning city-view from rooftop restaurant
Project details –
Project name – Sun City Kobe Tower
Architect – Richard Beard Architects | www.richard-beard.com
Architect of Record – ASAI Architectural Office
Project location – Kobe, Japan
Completion year – 2017
Photography – © Steve Hall
2018 AIA Design for Aging, Honor Award
2017 IIDA Healthcare, Honor Award
2017 Senior Housing News Award, CCRC Category Winner and International Category Winner
Interior designers – BAMO
Landscape design – SWA Group
Art consultant – Art Advisory Services
Lighting consultant – Auerbach Glasow
Mechanical, Plumbing – Kenchiku Setsubi Sekkei Kenkyushu
Woodwork – Tori Kenko Co.
Drapery workshop – Ionia
General contractor – Kajima Corporation
Project manager – MDA