Jun 29, 2015
Ae'o: A Nod to the Past, an Eye Toward the Future
Surrounded by a bounty of shops, parks, and one of the world's most majestic shorelines, a new residential development is taking form in Honolulu's Ward Village.
Known as Ae'o (pronounced Aye-Oh) and designed by the famed Bohlin Cywiniski Jackson Group, the tower pays homage to the history of the land it's erected upon all the while incorporating a plethora of modern amenities. Located at the corner of Queen and Kamake'e Streets, Ae'o will become a hub for Honolulu, a place for everyone to gather and explore one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods.
The naming of the building serves as a testament to the deep thought that went into the creation of Ae'o. For hundreds of years, the ae'o, or Hawaiian stilt bird, once inhabited this swath of Honolulu. Not only does the ae'o serve as the building's namesake, but it also plays into the building's design as well. Historically, the stretch of land that incorporates Ward Village was once known as the 'ili of Kukuluae'o, an area rich with salt ponds and lo'i (taro fields). In an effort to integrate the deep-seeded stories behind this land, BCJ has worked tirelessly to create an environment that melds the mana (spirit) of the '
Like the prevailing trade winds that frequent the islands and gave the ae'o flight, the design of this building is meant to honor the wind. The shape and design of the building is a reflection of that lightness and flow. Given the bird's history to this land, it felt like a way for us to pay tribute.
For Randle, upholding the legacy of the land is a responsibility that he and the Howard Hughes Corporation take seriously. "We believe that it's our responsibility to preserve the stories behind the land. It should be a requirement to honor the past at every opportunity. And we're thrilled with the way Ae'o has accomplished that."
While it's undeniable that a special emphasis has been taken to ensure that Ae'o reflected the history of the land, the building will also serve as a major hub for the city as well. The 466 residences will be adjoined to a 50,000-square-foot flagship Whole Foods Market by a direct, covered connection and numerous opportunities for new shops will invariably arise. An additional 700 parking spots will also be built to ensure that shoppers and residents alike can move seamlessly throughout the area.
As Honolulu continues to adopt its policy of focusing on growth within the urban core of our great city, Ae'o serves as an example that a reverence for heritage and a thirst for progress can exist simultaneously.
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