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Tokyo American Club wins AIA Connecticut Design Award

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Dec. 7, 2011) —The Tokyo American Club, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, was a winner in the 2011 AIA Connecticut Design Awards.

The awards, presented Dec. 7, recognize outstanding work by Connecticut architects and design excellence in Connecticut architectural projects. The Tokyo American Club, a private business and social networking club in Tokyo, was recognized in the built projects category.

Overlooking the city from the crest of a hilltop, the club is adjacent to the Azabudai Parkhouse condominium tower, also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. With its garden terraces and a serene exterior of golden Chinese granite and glass set within concrete, the club is an oasis in one of the busiest sections of the city. A glass-enclosed winter garden is at the center of the building, separating formal and business functions to the east and recreational and family spaces to the west.

In its evaluation comments, the jury noted the complexity of the project and the skill with which the building’s many components were assembled: “There is a clear definition of space and lots of unique surprises. The building changes gears within itself, yet still maintains order. This would not succeed by the hand of a less skilled architect.” The jury also praised the interiors, noting “a clear affection for the variety of different details.”

Each of the club’s 167 public rooms has a distinct character. Natural materials throughout, such as the travertine floors and wood ceilings for the winter garden, create a warm environment. Washi lamps by Eriko Horiki and patterned textiles by Reiko Sudo, created specifically for the building, add to the vibrant and colorful interiors.

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