Sun city Kobe Tower, senior living, senior housing building, residential apartments, luxury apartments

Sun City Kobe Tower | Richard Beard Architects

| 19 : 00 – 13 February 2019 |

Sun city Kobe Tower, Kobe, Japan, residential architecture, housing, multistory building

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.

landscape design, courtyard, green space

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.

wooden screen, porch, building entrance

Entrance portico with wooden screens

swimming pool, pool design, pool photograph

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 towers, Kobe, Japan, residential building, neighborhood, view from bridge

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.

Window seat, View from window

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.

metal roofs, pavilion, Interior courtyard, central garden

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 from living room, living room, Modern home, full height glass window

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.

community hall, lecture room, marble flooring

Gathering space


false ceiling, hall, community hall

Performance space

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.

dining hall, restaurant, dining area

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.

residential building, Kobe tower, balcony, terrace

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.

quarry stones, kobe tower, wooden partition

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 body, interior courtyard, glass walls, kobe tower

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.

modern home, modern interior design, interior design, dining room decor

Tea lounge

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.

spa, swimming pool, pool deck

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.

City view, restaurant, bar table, Kobe city, Japan

Stunning city-view from rooftop restaurant

restaurant design, luxury restaurant, city view,

Rooftop lounge

Project details –


Project name – Sun City Kobe Tower

Architect – Richard Beard Architects |

Architect of Record – ASAI Architectural Office

Project location – Kobe, Japan

Project type – Residential, Apartment, Housing

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 contractorKajima Corporation

Project manager – MDA

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