Nov 22, 2019
Ke Kilohana and Keaomelele
In the Islands, it’s customary to look to the stories of the gods found in chants, songs, and hula to pay homage and respect to Hawaiian culture. This practice gives a deeper meaning and significance to our modern, built environment, which informs how we use spaces and their aesthetic in relation to the natural world. Ke Kilohana, one of Ward Village’s newest residential towers featuring one-, two-, and three-bedroom reserved residences, showcases this important cultural connection through the Hawaiian story of Hawaiian goddess Keaomelemele.
There are five children of the gods, and the legendary Keaomelemele was said to be the third- born. The children were born in the mythical and mystical island of Kuaihelani, located in the clouds. From her stratospheric home, she could hear her sister learning the hula of Kaua‘i and longed to join her. Soon, she is called on, and travels to Nu‘uana Valley where she is trained in hula, quickly becoming kumu hula—a teacher of hula. Her sister and others join her on O‘ahu and Keaomelemele spreads her deep knowledge of hula to them. After five days of dancing, the island starts to shake and reverberate. By the seventh day, lightning and thunder join the godly chorus. By the tenth day, as the dance comes to an end, a huge cleft in the land is created and Nu‘uanu Valley is formed.
Fast-forward to today and Ke Kilohana has already become an instantly recognizable landmark in Honolulu’s growing skyline. The name Ke Kilohana honors the westernmost peak of the Ko‘olau Mountains, near Nu‘uanu Valley, which is visible from the mauka side of the tower. Designed in an aesthetic inspired by the location of the building—using motifs, colors and textures taken from Kaka‘ako’s vibrant art community and industrial warehouses—the recognizable exterior showcases a built-in pattern of windows and opaque walls reminiscent of Hawaiian kapa patterns. Ke Kilohana’s color palette references the legend of Keaomelemele, who inhabited the sun-kissed, golden clouds.
The building’s soft blues and greys seamlessly blend with the Hawaiian sky, while its striking yellow accents frame Ke Kilohana’s signature amenity, two breathtaking Sky Lanai, which offer unobstructed sunset and Pacific Ocean views, as well as demand attention from any vantage point. These Sky Lanai blend indoor/outdoor entertainment and relaxation with some of the best scenery in the state. A four-story, double-decker lanai framed in bright yellow, the ‘Ewa-facing Sky Lanai offers incredible sunset views to the west. Take in the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean in the winter months, and watch it arc over the Wai‘anae Mountains in the summer, which span the north and south shores and is home to Mt. Ka‘ala, O‘ahu’s tallest peak at 4,026 feet above sea level. The makai-facing Sky Lanai offers unobstructed views of the vast and awe- inspiring Pacific Ocean. From this vantage point, witness the south shore in all its sun-cloaked glory, from iconic Diamond Head crater to the beaches and marinas of Honolulu. As the clouds roll by overhead, picking up majestic yellow, red, and purple from the sunset, it’s easy to imagine the beauty of Keaomelemele and the power of her hula and story that still resonates today.
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