Tokyo American Club and Azabudai Parkhouse

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Tokyo, Japan
426,000 square feet / 40,000 square meters
2011

The Tokyo American Club and the Azabudai Parkhouse condominium tower are atop a hill in the Azabudai neighborhood, creating an oasis in one of the busiest sections of Tokyo. Conceived as a large house that provides members with a peaceful retreat, the club includes social, business, dining, and recreational facilities. The condominium tower was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in conjunction with the redevelopment of the private business and social networking club. Founded in 1928 by American businessmen, the club today has hundreds of international members.

A linear arrival garden connects the 8-story club building and the 12-story condominium tower, each with a stepped form that creates a series of garden terraces. A reflecting pool skylight marks the underground auto court, which has parking for 200 cars. The private garden arrival is complimented by the cascade of public terraces on the south side of the buildings.

Based on a three-dimensional grid of structural concrete with vertical panels of glass and golden granite, the club building is composed of two wings flanking a series of transparent common rooms. At the center of the building is the winter garden, which is layered and defined by horizontal bridges for dining and passage. At the edge of the winter garden, an elevator and stair tower mark the building on the skyline. The horizontal planes that define the center of the building and its winter garden have wooden tartan ceilings and travertine stone floors. Sudare-shaded windows filter the southern and western light. Beneath the winter garden is a sun-filled ballroom.

The eastern wing contains formal dining, a business center, library, meeting rooms, and guest suites. The western wing houses family activities and recreational sports. These include a bowling alley, child care facility, gymnasium, squash courts, an indoor golf driving range, and a spa. On the rooftop, an all-season, 25-meter swimming pool is enclosed under a vaulted steeland-glass roof. Placed throughout the building are more than ten dining venues that together can serve 1,354 members at one time.

The building’s 167 public rooms are each designed to have a distinct character while sharing a sense of warmth and the use of rich natural materials. Washi lamps by Eriko Horiki and patterned textiles by Reiko Sudo, created as site-specific art, complement the interiors.