New Construction, Sustainable Design
MASON was enlisted to design a new Visitor Center from which to view the heiau as part of a larger effort to restore the historic scene on the hillside adjacent to the heiau while being mindful not to disturb any nearby archeological sites.
In order to maximize views of the heiau and ocean while minimizing the Visitor Center’s own visibility, we integrated the low-profile structure into the dry, windswept environment. The resulting Visitor Center’s large exterior viewing area, protected from the elements by a broad sloping roof, presented the visitor with a dramatic view of the heiau. We also introduced open and enclosed spaces for audio/visual presentations, exhibits, sales and information, administrative offices and storage behind the viewing area. We utilized natural lighting and ventilation wherever feasible, and further conserved resources using cold-water faucets and waterless urinals. Our primary construction materials, including lava rock, rusticated concrete, glass and wood, effectively married the structure and its environment. We also kept grading and filling to a minimum.
Photo Credit: David Franzen
Visitor Center with the partially buried comfort station beyond
AIA Honolulu Chapter
Peoples' Choice Award 2007