i+D - July/August 2021 - 16

Design
Pulse
Honolulu
The Spirit
of Aloha
BY DANINE ALATI
" What is most compelling about the design scene
in Honolulu is that designers are really going
back to the preservation of the Islands-both
environmentally (conscious of new building
footprints, sacred areas, local materials,
maintaining or creating green spaces, etc.) and
culturally (incorporating traditional Hawaiian
history and practices into the design style), "
explains Michael Brown, senior planner and
landscape architect at WATG Honolulu. The
picturesque setting of Hawaii provides an ideal
backdrop for any interior design project. And it's
no wonder that architects and designers on the
island of Oahu-from the city center of Honolulu
to the hip warehouse district of Kaka'ako to
the breathtaking beaches of Waikiki-exploit the
natural beauty of the region and the authenticity
of Hawaiian heritage in their design work, whether
it's the most lavish five-star hotel or a community
garden project. " Regardless of the size or location
of the project, " Brown adds, " every design is an
opportunity to respectfully reflect and celebrate
our incredible host culture. "
Philpotts Interiors
One of the hallmarks of the designs by Honolulubased
Philpotts Interiors is a reverence for the
heritage and distinct aesthetic of Hawaii that
grounds each project with a specific sense of place.
Known for their local hospitality work, Philpotts
designers always stress the authenticity of
storytelling through design. " Hawaiian culture is
not a trend or a design style, " says Kristie Kiggins,
senior designer at Philpotts Interiors. " The culture
and its people have lent their language, artifacts,
storytelling, art, and overall 'spirit of aloha'
[positive feelings and experiences] to us. It is our
obligation to honor it and represent it the best way
we know how for each project. "
When undertaking the renovation of the historic
Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach in
Honolulu, Philpotts took care to respect the
nostalgia of this iconic place-after all, Hawaii's
first ruler King Kamehameha had his home where
the hotel stands today, and his favorite wife
Queen Ka'ahumanu's summer palace was previously
located on what's now the resort's Coconut
Grove-while updating the design and d├ęcor for the
21st century. First constructed in 1927, as just the
second hotel in Waikiki, it accommodated guests
coming via passenger ships from the West Coast
to Hawaii.
At the Queen Kapi'olani Hotel,
open air spaces are adorned
with modern architectural
details that complement the
lush natural surroundings.
(Image: Olivier Koning)
16
i+D - July/August 2021
HO N OL U L U

i+D - July/August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - July/August 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190708
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