friendship village tempe

Friendship Village Tempe was built in the 1980s and is undergoing a six-phase masterplan to update its amenities and appeal to a new generation of residents. In 2023, this plan continued with Phase 2, which replaced an existing, outdated independent living building. The existing community is landlocked, with no way to expand horizontally. The solution was to grow vertically. The addition provides the community with a five-story, 64-unit independent living building with an underground parking garage. The highlight of this 142,619-square-foot building is the rooftop destination restaurant and brew house called Starfire. The community had a clear vision of creating a one-of-a-kind senior lifestyle. Taking a cue from upscale restaurants, craft breweries, and rooftop venues, the Starfire restaurant features a hospitality design and redefines senior living. To our knowledge, Friendship Village Tempe is the first senior living community with a rooftop brewery. The boundaries of what people view as “senior living design” were pushed towards a more contemporary hospitality-influenced style.

Tempe, AZ
Date of Completion:
Project Size (Sq. ft)
9,872 SF
Friendship Village Tempe, an Arizona not-for-profit corporation
Life Care Services – Developer: LCS Development
Ryan A+E Inc.
Interior Design Firm:
Spellman Brady & Company
Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Wayfinding, safety, and style were all priorities for the corridors. The halls have handrails, bright lights, and frequent opportunities to rest. The elevator lobbies include fine art and accent colors for wayfinding. Walking these halls is like walking through an art gallery.

Guests are welcomed to the Starfire restaurant by custom wood and copper signage and an ombre tile wall behind the hostess stand. The rhythmic tile floor pattern guides them through the space. The hand-painted desertscape and wooden geometric planters emphasize the indoor-outdoor connection. There are beautiful details to discover, including the surrounding desert views.

Small lounges are incorporated throughout for informal seating. The client’s goal of creating a flexible space made providing various seating options – dining chairs, counter stools, a banquette, sofas, and lounge chairs – critical. The black-and-white macro photography in this lounge emphasizes the beauty of barrels, brewing equipment, and glassware.