Waipolu Gallery and Studio

Located on the island of Oahu, this private gallery and studio offers spectacular views of the Pacific to the south and nearby Diamond Head to the northeast. Rather than replicate the traditional Hawaiian character of the existing residence on the site, the new building is a sculptural presence, the varied spaces of which house a modern art collection. A copper-clad structure encloses the primary gallery space, its apertures framing views of Diamond Head and the ocean. Orientation on the site and precisely positioned overhangs mitigate the tropical sun. Along the other edge of the steeply sloped site, a bar of concrete, glass, and stainless steel defines the linear studio space. Three horizontal “trays” separate guest quarters, home office, and art display and storage. The building’s two elements are joined by a square, tubular glass bridge that floats above a stone staircase linking all three levels. The land’s natural terracing offers each level its own private entry sequence. Following the topography, articulated landscaping connects the new building to the existing house and garage. The final design solution at Waipolu more than adequately met the programmatic requirements we set forth from the beginning of the process. The end result exceeded expectation and interpreted requirements in unique and innovative ways that embraced the site, its surroundings and the unique climate we enjoy here in Honolulu. Besides the detailed spatial requirements, the design solution reflected our hope to prioritize the views of the ocean, celebrate the unique art collection within and yet still be a contributing, sculptural contribution to the rest of the property. Our detailed program document was carefully considered and expanded upon during the design process. We had discussed every element from site integration to noise attenuation, material use and spatial sequence. They listened and delivered.


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