Marianne Cooper, AIA and LEED-accredited.

Marianne Cooper, AIA and LEED-accredited.

November 3, 2006

Marianne Cooper, our first LEED-Accredited Professional

Marianne Cooper has just passed the LEED exam, making her the first but not the last LEED-accredited professional in our firm. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to promote construction of buildings that are environmentally responsible and healthy places to live and work. The council has been administering the exam since 2001. Those who pass understand green building practices and principles and are familiar with the system of credits that earn a building a LEED certification. LEED-certified buildings are proliferating as governmental agencies require LEED-accredited professionals on a project's design team, and private firms and individuals are following suit. Marianne, who specializes in custom residential design, grew up in Sweden, where green buildings have been part of the architectural landscape since the 1960s.


Waimalu Shopping Center on Kam Highway in Pearl City was built in 1963 and is eligible for the National Register.

Waimalu Shopping Center on Kam Highway in Pearl City was built in 1963 and is eligible for the National Register.

August 22, 2006

Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project

This spring MAI architectural historians, armed with cameras and clipboards, conducted sidewalk surveys of pre-1965 buildings along several major thoroughfares from Kapolei to UH Manoa. Working from information derived from tax map keys, they identified those structures that may be eligible for nomination to the National Register for their cultural or architectural significance. The results of their study will be incorporated into the Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement now being prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade Douglas for the City and County of Honolulu to select a "locally preferred alternative" for the route of a mass transit system in the 22-mile transportation corridor. Because the system may not be in place until 2015, structures built before 1965 will be at least 50 years old by then and, if NR-eligible, are worthy of consideration when choosing the preferred route.


Zagorski leading the race at Olomana.

Zagorski leading the race at Olomana.

August 22, 2006

Mike Zagorski Breaks Two Cycling Records

Mason Architects' intern architect and Hawai‘i State cycling champion Mike Zagorski set two records on hill climbs to win both the Boca Hawai‘i Stage Races on August 5-6 and the Sea to Stars race on August 12. In the three-stage Boca Hawai‘i race, Mike took first place in the 45-mile Olomana Road Race on Saturday and won the 4.5-mile Tantalus uphill time trial on Sunday morning. His time of 18 minutes and 29 seconds beat his own planned time by one second and exceeded the previous record of 18 minutes 38 seconds set in 1990. That afternoon, after a mid-day nap, Mike rode in the third race, the Kakaako Criterium, finishing in second place to secure first place overall. The following Saturday, August 12, Mike won the Sea to Stars 34-mile race from Hilo to the Visitor Information Station at the 9130-foot level of Mauna Kea. For the last six miles of the race, from the turn off of the Saddle Road, Mike was riding alone, setting a record of 2 hours, 36 minutes and beating the previous record of 2 hours, 59 minutes set in 2003.

For Mike, these two races are a warm-up for Cycle to the Sun on August 27, a 36.2-mile race from Paia to the 10,005-foot summit of Haleakala. Mike took first place in 2004, finishing in 2 hours, 56 minutes, and tied for first in 2005 with a time of 2 hours 51 minutes, despite a broken arm. Is he ready? "My power to weight ratio is where I need it to be," he says, "and that's important on a long climb like Haleakala."

Update: His calculations must have been correct! Mike won first place in the Cycle to the Sun with a time of 2:50:16, a bike length ahead of Jiri Skrobanek, with whom he tied in 2005.


Bring Home The BaCan

August 21, 2006

Bring Home The BaCan...

...was the theme of Mason Architects' Canstruction design, built of 3004 cans of Vienna sausage, 2 cans of sardines, and 36 cans of pork and beans. The portly pig was canstructed during a timed six-hour buildout on August 12 at Pearlridge Uptown by members of the MAI staff. The event was sponsored by the AIA Honolulu Chapter to collect cans for and raise awareness of the Hawai‘i Food Bank. Joining the paunchy porker were entries from sixteen other architectural and engineering firms -- a hula girl, erupting volcanoes, Hawaiian pineapples, a Maneki Neko (good luck cat), an outrigger canoe, and a cockroach-crushing slippah, to name a few. They will be decanstructed on August 27, when the cans will be donated to the Hawai‘i Food Bank. The pig was designed by intern architect Graham Black, who was assisted in the building by Evelyn Cabradilla, Polly Cosson, John Fullmer, Robert Kuo, Jonathon Thole, Ming-Yi Wong, and Ann Yoklavich.


St. Philomena's Church.

St. Philomena's Church.

April 5, 2006

St. Philomena's Church

Mason Architects has conducted a moisture control study and is preparing construction documents to repair the damage done by moisture to St. Philomena's Church in Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokai. The original St. Philomena's Church was built by Brother Victor Bertrand in 1872. Father Damien added the west nave in 1876 and then, after the church's steeple collapsed in a windstorm, began to rebuild the main nave of masonry and wood in 1888. It was completed after his death in 1889. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, St. Philomena's Church underwent significant repairs in the late 1980s, but the wind-driven rains and high humidity on the Kalaupapa peninsula's east side have caused degradation of painted and plaster surfaces and deterioration of structural elements, siding, windows, and roofs. MAI has collaborated with the National Park Service and Architectural Conservation, Inc. to repair the church in ways that do not detract from its historical integrity.


Saints Peter and Paul Church.

Saints Peter and Paul Church.

April 4, 2006

Saints Peter and Paul Church

Saints Peter and Paul Church was designed by noted Honolulu architect Raymond Akagi and constructed in 1969. The circular form of its sanctuary is distinctive among the rectangular high rises on Kaheka Street, and the courtyard and Support Building behind it house a variety of activities closely fit within the confines of the urban lot, which also contains a driveway and parking spaces on its perimeter. Though the church is in good condition, its clerical and lay personnel needed additional classroom and storage space to serve the needs of the parish, but where could it be found? After completing an existing conditions analysis and master plan, Mason Architects designed a second-floor addition to the Support Building that will provide over 2500 feet of additional space without diminishing the driveway and parking area beneath it. Other changes were designed to comply with current code, accessibility, and security requirements.


Hilihe'e Palace Kitchen

Hilihe'e Palace Kitchen

April 3, 2006

Hulihe'e Palace Kitchen

Working from archival photographs and preliminary reconstruction drawings done by Geoffrey Fairfax in the 1970s, Mason Architects has designed a kitchen wing for Hulihe'e Palace in Kona. The Daughters of Hawaii, who have maintained Hulihe'e since 1927, wished to reconstruct the kitchen so that Hulihe'e would appear as it was in King Kalakaua's reign. He purchased the royal residence from Princess Ruth Keelikolani's heir in 1886 and rebuilt the kitchen as part of his renovations of Hulihe'e for use as a vacation home. The kitchen wing was removed in later alterations.

Construction work is about to begin. The kitchen's exterior will be faithfully reconstructed, but since there is no information about the appearance of the interior, it is not being reconstructed and instead will serve as office for the Daughters of Hawaii.

In a related project, MAI is helping the Daughters with designs to expand the gift shop and renovate the restrooms in the Kuakini Building, a more modern building located nearby on the Hulihe'e Palace grounds.


Hawaiian Hall

Hawaiian Hall

March 20, 2006

Hawaiian Hall, Bishop Museum

Mason Architects has completed plans for the restoration of the historic Hawaiian Hall complex at the Bishop Museum. The complex was built in three phases, from 1888 to 1903, the first two phases by Charles Reed Bishop to house the collection of Hawaiian artifacts bequeathed to him by his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. After documenting the building's condition and history of alterations, Mason Architects worked closely with the museum staff and exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum Associates Inc. to bring the galleries up to modern museum standards without compromising their historic integrity. Originally, all lighting and ventilation were provided by skylights and double-hung windows, but over the years many of the windows were filled in and electric lighting installed. Most of the original display cases are still intact, but require improvements to meet current museum standards for lighting, humidity, and off-gassing of materials.

The project, which is currently out to bid, includes building an elevator court addition to provide accessibility to all the galleries of the museum, repair of interior and exterior surfaces, and integration of new air-conditioning, fire sprinkler, and security systems in a building with virtually no vertical or horizontal space for such systems.