Project type: Education
Location: Hawaii, USA
Scope of work: Concept, schematic design and presentation
The solution transforms the site into its own ahupua’a—literally and figuratively, a political and ecological unit of land designed to meet the needs of community living within it. Imagine the school as an educational island and the Learning Center site as an ahupua’a to be used as a teaching icon, to embody and support the Hawaiian values of Malama.
The ahupua’a’s form is created through the manipulation of and emphasis on the earth’s surface, not through the making of objects. This ground manipulation becomes both a literal iconic platform for learning and additionally the shelter for the program’s performance and administration facilities. This separation of programmed activities will create intuitive, understandable order for the first time visitor as well as the most experienced user within the Center’s community.
The organizational strategy is realized in architecture emphasizing the diverse mission of the center. This architecture is meant to enhance one’s comprehension of location and choice of movement within this facility. For performances, one stays beneath the surface of the ahupua’a, to symbolically help contain and sustain the cultural expression within the community. Conversely, all learning and study takes place on the surface, open to the elements and the nourishment of outside influences.