Hawaii has become a place that defines paradise. From pristine beaches and a warm climate to natural scenery and active volcanoes, the islands are home to incredible landscapes and culture. With indigenous and modern building styles, the state’s architecture is intimately tied to the environment. Reinterpreting historic building techniques and traditions, contemporary Hawaiian architecture balances a desire to honor the past while celebrating new experiences and modern culture. This has led to the formation of incredible spaces to live and dwell.
Each of these homes takes a closer look at Hawaiian design through various residences along the coast. Exploring contemporary projects with hybrid spaces and envelopes, the projects are made with flowing boundaries and transitions. Merging different styles, they overlook expansive vistas, mountains and coastal views. Each design makes use of screened envelopes and building orientations to capitalize on the tropical climate and embrace the surrounding landscape. Together, they represent a luxurious coastal architecture across the islands of Hawaii.
Kahua Kuili / Walker Warner Architects
Designed by California based firm Walker Warner Architects, the Kahua Kuili residence as its known in Hawaiian, is a modern interpretation of the classic Hawai’i summer camp. In keeping with the firm’s design philosophy, the warm, yet spacious abode was designed with longevity in mind. Kahua Kuili incorporates numerous timeless elements that remain relevant to century-old architecture and design, and will be relevant for centuries to come.
Hale Lana House / Olson Kundig
This 17,200-square-foot family retreat on Hawaii’s Big Island takes the form of several canopy-like pavilions dispersed around the site, linked by elevated wooden lanais and a series of gardens. Hale Lana, which translates to “floating home,” appears to hover over the site’s lava fields and dense gardens. The home takes a position at the ecotone line between the heavily landscaped area and the expansive ocean views which stretch to Haleakalā volcano on nearby Maui.
Manini`owali 3 / Sunnland Architects
Situated on 1.5 acres of raw volcanic land within an exclusive resort community in Hawaii, the custom 9,100 square foot home serves as an oasis from the unforgiving Hawaiian sun. The contemporary residence is designed to capture views of the Kua Bay and Maui's Haleakala Mountain to the west, Hualalai Mountain to the east, and a sacred cinder cone, Pu`u Kuili, to the south.
Lavaflow 7 / Craig Steely Architecture
Located on five acres of dense Ohia forest, this cast-in-place concrete house frames indoor and outdoor living spaces along with views of the forest, the sky, and the coastline on Hawaii’s Big Island. The main feature of the house is a concrete beam, 140 foot long, 48 inch tall x 12 inch wide running the length of the building with only three short concrete walls supporting it along its massive span.
Kona Residence / Belzberg Architects
Nestled between cooled lava flows, the Kona residence situates its axis not with the linearity of the property, but rather with the axiality of predominant views available to the site. Within the dichotomy of natural elements and a geometric hardscape, the residence integrates both the surrounding views of volcanic mountain ranges to the east and ocean horizons westward. The program is arranged as a series of pods distributed throughout the property, each having its own unique features and view opportunities.
Island House / Michael Piche
Located in a playful, eclectic neighborhood on the southern shore of Kauai, the Island House integrates the ubiquitous indoor/outdoor Hawaiian living with modern design. Already a secluded property with existing basalt rock property walls and mature palm trees, the simple L-shaped form reinforces privacy with a solid front façade and captures a quiet yard for swimming and play.
Clifftop House in Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti
Windsurf sail designer Robert Stroj moved from Europe to Maui to lead the design research studio of Neil Pryde in Kahului. If Maui's south coast is gentle and works for indulging in all-inclusive holidays, its north coast is a surfer’s paradise with strong winds and most importantly, perfect waves. It is in the middle of the ocean, far-off from almost everything. The home in such an environment becomes crucially important. Besides being just a home, this house also works as a social venue.
Makani Eka Residence / Walker Warner Architects
Set atop a hardened lava flow with views of sky, sun, and water, this family compound strikes a balance between modernity and tradition. Old and new ebb and flow through a simple composition of small structures linked by a lush courtyard and a series of walkways and patios. Composed of four independent structures, including a cedar-clad main living pod, the siting balances the desire to host friends and family as well as privacy.