It's become a familiar sight: glossy renderings from big-name architects promoting new luxury condo towers. But in this case the setting is unexpected, rather than New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, these new towers are cropping up in a gentrifying area of Honolulu known as Kaka'ako, nestled between the resorts of Waikiki, and the Downtown business district. For its latest offering, Ward Village, one part of a massive redevelopment plan for the entire Kaka'ako neighborhood, has enlisted Prizker Prize-winner Richard Meier, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (best known for the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York), to design iconic towers that will no doubt attract premium prices to match their architects' celebrity cachet. And while most people celebrate the influx of new housing units in a region of limited supply, some may be wondering who these new condos are really for.
With Ward Village, Richard Meier and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Bring Signature Architecture to Honolulu
In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.
Continue reading to learn more…