Snøhetta, WCIT, and AECOM have released details of their proposed Neal S. Blaisdell Center Master Plan for Honolulu, Hawaii. Located in the urban heart of O’ahu, the existing 1964 center is home to the state’s premier arts and cultural venues. The aging structure is now set to be transformed by a 22-acre complex for future generations, featuring a performance hall, exhibition hall, sports pavilion, parking structure, and reconceived public space.
Honolulu: The Latest Architecture and News
Studio Gang has revealed a new design for a 41-story tower in Hawaii that's inspired by the island’s native red sugar cane. Designed with a mix of ground floor retail and 565 residences above, the tower is called Kō‘ula. Embracing indoor-outdoor living and Hawaii's climate, the project is oriented to ocean views with vertical columns that bend and twist like sugar cane. The tower is part of a larger development underway in the Ward Village district on Oahu’s south shore.
As anyone who has recently attempted apartment-hunting in a major urban area will know, reasonably-priced housing can be difficult to come by for many and salaries don’t always seem to match the cost of living. This gap is contributing to housing crises in developed and developing countries worldwide. People are simply being priced out of cities, where housing has become a commodity instead of a basic human right. Financial speculation and states’ support of financial markets in a way that makes housing unaffordable has created an unsustainable global housing crisis.
Earlier this year the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey was released for 2017, revealing that the number of “severely unaffordable” major housing markets rose from 26 to 29 this year; the problem is getting worse. The study evaluates 406 metropolitan housing markets in nine of the world's major economies and uses the “median multiple” approach to determine affordability. By dividing the median house price by the median household income of an area, this method is meant to be a summary of “middle-income housing affordability.”
A new collection of five minute-long Tall Stories—developed by the team behind The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities—guide the listener through the condensed narratives of a series of architectural projects from around the globe, encompassing their conception, development, use and, in some cases, eventual demise. We've selected eight of our favorites from the ongoing series, ranging from London’s Casson Pavilion to Honolulu's Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial, and the Estadio Centenario stadium in Montevideo.
With Ward Village, Richard Meier and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Bring Signature Architecture to Honolulu
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.
Of the four locations that are under consideration to host the future Barack Obama presidential library, two have released visions of what could be if their sites were selected - the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Hawaii at Honolulu (UH). UH, who’s offering a stunning oceanside site on Waikiki Beach, paired Snøhetta, MOS, and Allied Works Architecture with local architects to draw up proposals, all of which share a deep connection to nature. UIC, on the other hand, has proposed an idea that reinterprets the library as a systemized network of public infrastructure focused on revitalization.
View all four proposals, after the break.