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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Waipolu Gallery and Studio, Oahu, Hawaii

Located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, this private gallery and studio is a sculptural presence existing within an extraordinary natural setting. Designed to showcase the art outside as well as in, its varied spaces house a contemporary art collection as well as frame spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic volcanic peak of Diamond Head.

  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of Place

Rather than replicate the traditional Hawaiian character of the main residence, the new spaces have a modern perspective, following the cues of the clients’ art collection while respecting the nature of the site. The primary gallery carefully frames views of Diamond Head and the ocean through its large apertures, while its orientation on the site and precisely positioned overhangs mitigate the tropical sun. Along the property’s edge of the steep site is the studio, with three levels that step down the slope. The land’s natural terracing offers each level its own private entry. Following the topography, articulated landscape connects the new structure to the existing house.

  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of People

The clients desired a gallery that would allow them to enjoy their extensive art collection; they also wished to provide their guests with private accommodations. A glass walkway provides a dramatic transition between the gallery and studio spaces; it protrudes into the gallery space itself to form a floating balcony overlooking the artwork below. On the studio side, the top two levels contain the guest quarters and a home office. The ground-floor level is devoted to an innovative system for art storage that uses pivoting walls for display and storage.

  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

The Nature of Materials

The gallery is a distinctive copper-clad volume with a curving profile and articulated panels. It is contrasted with a linear studio space, defined by bars of concrete, glass and stainless steel. The two components are joined by a structural glass bridge, which floats over an outdoor limestone staircase linking all three levels. The studio’s internal circulation route is also transparent to the outside through its walls of channel glass. On the other side of the gallery, grass-and-lava steps transition between a rough stone retaining wall and a saw-cut lava wall. The ground-floor entrance to the gallery is through a pivoting teak door, which manifests as a sculptural installation.

  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux
  • Nic Lehoux

Photo:

  • Location Oahu, Hawaii
  • Dates 2003-2009
  • Size 5,400 sf
  • Related Links Circumstances, Expectations and Trust: An Interview with Peter Bohlin and Ray Calabro
  • "It does justice to its site. It is a "jewel-like" project. The details are beautiful, and the narrative is very rich. We loved the fact that it is it minimalist, and yet still warm, engaging, intimate. The way that light enters the gallery is beautiful."

    —AIA Pennsylvania Jury

  • Awards/Honors
  • 2012
    Tucker Award, Building Stone Institute
  • 2011
    American Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Center for Architecture

    Honor Award, AIA Northwest and Pacific Region

    Honor Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Pennsylvania
  • 2010
    Design Award, New Construction Category, North American Copper in Architecture Awards
  • 2009
    Merit Award, AIA Seattle

Related Work The Web of Circumstance

  • The Nature of Place
  • The Nature of People
  • The Nature of Materials