In many ways Kō‘ula softens distinctions and blurs boundaries.
The definition of interior and exterior space is fluid. There is a gradient between social spaces from the privacy of a residence to semi-private spaces, like the lobby and amenity deck, to public areas like the park. Each encourages a different kind of socialization, all effortlessly flowing together.
Nearly 2,500 miles from the nearest landmass, Hawai‘i has one of the most pristine environments in the world. Every aspect of Kō‘ula has been designed to connect people to the nature of this special place. Private lānai invite residents to extend their interior living space to the outside world, offering views of the Ko‘olau mountain range or the south shore. They open residences to light and welcome the trade winds, seamlessly connecting the inside with the outside.
Jeanne Gang Relationship Builder
To improve the views, and foster a stronger connection with the island environment, the residences were “bent” toward the coastline. This creates a subtle but functional differentiation of space within the unit. The “wet zone” contains kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing stack and mechanical shafts, allowing the “dry zone” to house open living spaces and bedrooms.
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo (Photo: Tom Harris)
Writers Theatre (Photo: Steve Hall)
City Hyde Park (Photo: Tom Harris)
George Yabu & Glenn Pushelberg
Home is where you wake up in the morning, and you look out to the window, and you say, “This feels right.” Designing to evoke that feeling takes an incredible amount of work. At acclaimed global design firm Yabu Pushelberg it starts with getting beneath the surface of what’s expected, with getting the feel of the place, the city, the environment. For Glenn Pushelberg that means seamlessly blending Honolulu’s urban environment with its natural beauty. For George Yabu it means finding and telling unique, authentic stories. This is their story of Kō‘ula. According to Glenn Pushelberg, “Ward Village has an allure that you can feel. There’s something unique about it—a kind of magical serenity.” George Yabu elaborates, “There is a lot of depth to this place. There’s a lot that’s beneath the surface. We’re trying to find those authentic elements and bring them into our work.” The designers chose natural colors, textures, finishes, and architectural design elements to reinforce a physical and emotional connection to Hawai‘i.
They insisted on materials that were authentic and ensured everything was extremely well-crafted. “When you walk into Kō‘ula you feel like you’re in this perfectly curated place, where every element has integrity,” says Pushelberg. “When you look at the spaces, they’re not separated, there’s no partitions. We thought about incorporating nature as much as possible so we could frame the views to the ocean or frame the views to a mountain. We build on those relationships between inside and outside.” Bringing the inside and outside together effortlessly was key. According to Yabu, “Throughout the project, we were trying to create a free-flowing sense, especially to the amenities level. We want people to be able to easily move between rooms and have some flexibility, but everything still feels purposeful. That’s what makes the amenities level a place that people are going to want to live in, to use, and socialize in. That’s how you create a real sense of community. It’s about understanding how we want to live today.”
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