Glenn Mason and John Fullmer, project architects, in the restored interior of Hawaiian Hall. (Star-Bulletin photo by Cindy Ellen Russell)
September 29, 2009
How do you light a museum exhibit case, when light harms the organic materials - feathers, paper, kapa -in the artifact on exhibit? You lower the light in the case to a maximum of five footcandles. Then how do you see the artifact in the case, rather than your own reflection in the glass? You lower the ambient light outside the case to less than two footcandles. How dark is that? As dark as a parking lot at night.
So went the conversation when Hawai‘i Hawaii Public Radio's Bob Sandla interviewed Blair Collis, the chief operating officer of Bishop Museum, and Glenn Mason on the September 27 airing of "The Business of the Arts." The general theme of the hour-long discussion was how the renovation of historic Hawaiian Hall enhances visitor access and appreciation, and ultimately revenues, for the museum.
Collis and Mason described how the project required continuous interaction among the native Hawaiian community who determined the conceptual approach and the story line of the exhibits, Ralph Applebaum and Associates who designed the exhibits, and Mason Architects who created a state-of-the art setting for the exhibits while restoring the building's Victorian interior architecture.
Lighting was a key issue. In 1903, the building had no electricity; a skylight and windows provided the only light and ventilation. Open windows, however, let in excessive light, heat, humidity, and insects. Closing up the windows and displaying the artifacts under electric lights in the 1960s caused a host of new issues. To find out how these challenges were met.
August 7, 2009
BIA-Hawaii presented two 24th Annual Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards to Glenn Mason and Angela Thompson at its banquet on May 6 in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. An overall grand award and a historic division award in the commercial remodeling category went to Honolua Store, built in Kapalua, Maui, in 1929. With interior designer James Tucker Associates and contractor Breen Builders, MAI preserved the store's wooden plank floors, ceilings, merchandise cabinets, and other historic elements, rebuilt a small storage building behind the store, and installed a new kitchen, deli counter, coffee bar, and additional lanai. Project manager was Maui Land and Pineapple Company's Community Development Division.
An award in the historic residential remodeling division went to contractor Alan Shintani and MAI for 23 Makalapa, an officer's residence in Pearl Harbor's Makalapa neighbor-hood that was designed in 1941-42 by Charles W. Dickey. To revitalize the home, the kitchen, dining room, and bathrooms were upgraded and relocated or reconfigured; non-historic elements were removed; and new electrical, plumbing, and air-conditioning systems were installed. The project adhered to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of historic buildings and attained the approval of the State Historical Preservation Office. The project is part of the renovation of military housing undertaken by Forest City Military Communities Hawaii.
Last year an award in this category was presented to MAI for its remodeling of historic housing on Pearl City Peninsula.
After the earthquake.
July 23, 2009
n the Hawai‘i Business section of June 14's Star Bulletin, writer Nina Wu told the story of Mason Architects' restoration of the historic 1855 Kalahikiola Congregational Church, which was damaged in the October 2006 earth-quake on the island of Hawaii. Although its roof structure and tower remained intact, the church's stone walls were reduced to rubble in several places. The damaged walls were reconstructed with concrete masonry plastered to match the original plaster false block pattern. The general approach follows the firm's guiding principle in historic preservation: preserve as much of the original structure as possible and replace the rest with the closest match possible. Patrick Ku, the co-chairman of the church's reconstruction committee, noted that "the appearance will be historically accurate, inside and out.
July 23, 2009
MAI architect and outrigger canoe paddler Katie Slocumb was featured in the April/May issue of Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine. Katie told writer Shannon Chang how, after growing up far from the ocean, she followed the advice of friends and tried canoe paddling after completing graduate school at the University of Hawaii. Learning to analyze not only water conditions and the competition but how well her team was working together, Katie gradually took on the position of steersperson. She works hard to foster the team aspect of the sport, which is one of the things she most appreciates about paddling. "I think one of the great things about paddling is that it's a team sport...an intense team sport...you really all have to work together. What's interesting as a steersman is tht you have to analyze whether this is happening or not." Katie has also raced one-and two-person canoes and six-person sailing canoes and, always game for adventure, has just acquired a stand-up paddle board. To read the article -- click here.
March 6, 2009
Star-Bulletin writer Mark Coleman interviewed MAI architect Marianne Cooper for his Hawai‘i at Work column on March 2.
How did she become an architect?
What special skills does she have?
How does she meet clients?
How does she help them realize their vision?
What does she think of local architects and their work?
January 7, 2009
Don served as the Administrator of Hawaii's State Historic Preservation Division from 1983 to 2002 and was self-employed as a Heritage Specialist before joining MAI.
Don grew up in New York and came here in 1967 to attend graduate school at the University of Hawaii. After a stint in the Army and a year studying Art History at the University of Victoria, he earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from UH in 1975. He planned to write his dissertation on Gothic Revival architecture but, after teaching several semesters on the history of rock and roll, opted instead for this topic. His dissertation morphed into The Role of Rock, A Guide to the Social and Political Consequences of Rock Music (1983).
Other books followed: The View from Diamond Head: Royal Residence to Urban Resort (1986); Designing Paradise: The Allure of the Hawaiian Resort (2006); Hart Wood: The Birth of Regional Design in Hawaii, with Glenn Mason (in press); and Buildings of Hawai‘i (in press). The first volume of a three-volume set, Houses in Hawaii, comes out this spring. Don is now writing the second volume on 1900-1940, and the third will cover the post-War years.
Currently researching the complex workings of a historic sugar-processing plant, Don is happy to work on "anything that comes along," as long as it "expands my horizons."
January 7, 2009
Historic Hawai‘i Foundation asked Mason Architects to prepare the Guide to assist homeowners of significant historic (older than 50 years) residences in Hawaii. The Register is the official list of Hawaii's cultural resources, those that give a sense of place and identity and are therefore worthy of preservation. The owner of a listed historic residence may apply for a County property tax exemption and, if the property is income-producing, for federal tax credits. The owner may also receive technical assistance from the State Historic Preservation Division to help maintain the historic integrity of the residence and preserve its significant historic, architectural, and cultural features. In return, the owner may be subject to governmental review of any alterations that would affect the historic character of the house. The Guide, which was prepared by Wendy Wichman and Katie Slocumb, explains the listing process, how to fill out the nomination form, and how to conduct research on a historic residence. The Guide is found on HHF's webpage, http://www.historichawaii.org.
January 2, 2009
Barbara Shideler, Mason Architects' newest partner, joined the company a month after graduating from the UH School of Architecture in December 1988. She specializes in historic preservation and her studies include the Kokee Camp Lots, historic bridges along the Hana Highway, and the Maui Jinsha Shrine, as well as designs for the restoration of the Kauai County Building and a host of historic homes.
In 20 years of preservation projects, two stand out as favorites. Her work on Kaumakapili Church Sanctuary Restoration opened a window into the Hawaiian community. Because there were no original plans of the building she asked long-time parishioners about the early configuration and architectural details of the sanctuary -- door openings that had been plastered over, lost fretwork designs, stained glass windows now reduced to shards -- and learned about the nurturing role the Church has played in the Kalihi-Palama neighborhood.
On her other favorite project, the restoration of Shangri-La, Doris Duke's Foundation for Islamic Art -" a fantastic property" - Barbara has learned about architectural conservation of masonry and concrete finishes and worked with artisans such as Canning Studios in restoring the decorative painting on the Playhouse.
She says it was her interest in Islamic architecture that introduced her to historic preservation. As a student she received a fellowship to study in Indonesia, and through her professor she met the royal owners of a derelict 1920s water palace. She surveyed, photographed, and made measured drawings of it. Recently Barbara learned that, building on her work of 20 years ago, the local community has fully restored the palace on a grant from the World Health Organization.
"Adding Barbara as a principal in the firm reflects the strength of the preservation component of our work," said Glenn Mason, president of MAI. "She has long been a highly valued project manager for Mason Architects, and this is a logical step for her."