This project is unusual on a number of levels. It is the third project we
have designed for the same client. Therefore over our 15 year history we
have established a very high level of trust and understanding with our
client's needs. When our client purchased property in Hawaii they asked our
firm to help them find an architect, preferably one based in the area in
which they live. After an extensive search with no success, our client asked
us if we would be interested in being the designer of the residence as well
as the interior designer and lighting designer.
We were asked to collaborate with a local architect who would work with us
to provide the architectural drawings and construction supervision required
to bring the project to completion. We said yes and began that process. It
was through our effort that the house took the form in which it has
manifested; an 8000 square foot residence which is separated into a series
of small pavilions that progress across the two acre site, creating a much
smaller impact on the land and much more exposure from all the rooms to the
oceanfront view before it.
The length of the site parallels the ocean to the West, giving an unusual
opportunity for every room to have magnificent views. I took our client
around the island and pointed out many lovely small-scale, Japanese
influenced designs that seemed to us much more appropriate to island living
than the plethora of McMansions to be found springing up like fungus
everywhere we looked.
We assisted in finding a landscape architect sensitive to the concept that
we had arrived at and proceeded to develop the location of the various
buildings on the site. We determined the building material palette which
included standing-seam brown-patinated copper roofs, light colored cleft
slate from China so as not to absorb heat and Italian Plaster walls in a
warm earth tone, which is often found in Japanese architecture.
As this house is in a temperate climate, a solution in which natural
air-conditioning with proper airflow through the buildings was of extreme
importance. To achieve this, the buildings were designed with large sliding
glass doors which disappeared into the walls. The slate floors run
throughout the house, across a recessed threshold and also forms the patio
and pool surround in a seamless flow of material.
The interior materials are the same as the exterior materials, with the
addition of cedar wood ceilings, which continue to reflect the overall
continuity of the influence of Japanese design. The cabinetry throughout the
house was custom designed by our office and executed in matched flitch
cherry veneer with a protective laminated coating so as to provide carefree
Our clients requested a casual, informal environment in which to live. We've
responded by creating a series of pavilions, giving the prime place to the
"great house" which contains the living room, kitchen and dining area. The
guest houses are located at the South end of the property, giving a sense of
privacy for both the owners and their guests. The master suite is on the
other side of a small ravine which, during torrential rains, carries a large
volume of water across the site and into drainage to the west of the
property. This location allows for ocean views from the master bedroom and
bath which is separated from the office pavilion (also with ocean views) by
a lap pool.
We were also the residential lighting design consultants for this project.
Wherever possible throughout the house we have provided energy-saving
fluorescent cove lighting and recessed adjustable halogen down-lights, all
of which are controlled by a "smart house" control system.