March 12, 2010

DvH2010 01 Kalihiwai Bay, Kauai, Hawai'i

DvH2010 01 Kalihiwai Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
residential green new built, main house, guest house,
and fiddling hut

Modulating a dialogue between Architecture and Nature.

Anyone who fears that a modulated design will produce a dull house with the appeal of a shrink-wrapped box should study building trends over the last decade. This 1,200-square-foot house (and 600 sq. ft. guesthouse) is designed to blend into the breathtaking enveloping natural landscape. The client, who loves the outdoors, wanted his home to reflect that. His primary goal was to have a design that will establish “a dialog between the built and the natural.” This will be achieved by organizing the house along mathematical guidelines that both anchor the house to the earth and create vistas between interior and exterior. All interior doors pocket into walls, creating a different configuration of privacy, light, and perception.This modulation of space is crucial when designing smaller dwellings.

But lest the house seem to grounded, we added a kinetic counterpoint: a butterfly roof. The two-winged roof has functions beyond the poetic. Tropical areas such as Hawaii have utilized the Butterfly roof to harvest precious rainwater since the middle of the last century, but these new ones are angled at the steeper 20 to 30 degree angles that are needed to maximize solar production.

With the steeper angle the tropical downpour is also more efficiently harvested in the roof’s center rain-funnel shape, where it is then filtered, stored and pressurized to the tap. The energy generated from solar panels on the roof, and hydraulic, gas and telecom services run in two vertical cores accessible from the bathrooms and kitchens for maintenance.

Passive cooling is achieved the old fashioned way with wide verandas, and a gallery open to the elements and sea breezes and to shelter the interior spaces from the tropical sun. The wooden skin that wraps the gallery filters the glare, providing intimacy in the bedrooms, shading the interior while framing the views outward. The roof shelters the house from the Sun while keeping it permeable to the cool winds to avoid the need for air-conditioning.  Self-sufficiency is what the client desired most.

Our common link,hurricanes, his Iniki.
He promised that he would abandon Island living if and when another hurricane will sweep away the new buildings.

Iniki touched down on Kaua'i at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 11, 1992, with winds of 160 miles per hour and gusts of up to 200 miles per hour. The impact was difficult to grasp at the time more than 6,000 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged.

The category 4 hurricane also brushed past O'ahu, where it battered the Wai'anae Coast, laying waste to the southwestern shore. In all, Iniki caused an estimated $1.8 billion in damage.

Kaua'i, the Garden Isle, where the legends of the Menehune abound. Kaua'i the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain and often called the Garden Isle because of its endless beauty. It is a place as close to the Garden of Eden as one can find. Perhaps the sculptural masterpiece is the Na Pali Coast accessible only by boat, helicopter or foot. Here the scenery is so magnificent it defies description.

The only thing that can compare to the natural beauty of this island is the beauty of the people of Kaua'i with their genuine friendliness and spirit of Aloha.

For my dear friends who taught me the true fairy tales of olden Kaua'i.

Haole Omma

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