Jan 16, 2019
Kō'ula: A Welcome Home
It's been seen said that Nature is the ultimate designer.
After all, there's something inherently appealing about being blanketed by the beauty of trees, the comforting tones wood and greenery softening the surroundings. At Kō'ula, an inspired new residential tower located on the heart of Ward Village, a lush, urban oasis abounds. At its essence, Kō'ula strives to blend the natural wonders of Hawai'i's beauty with the comfort and convenience of a modern, urban hub.
As is true in nature, there is no need for excessive adornment. Designed by world-renowned architects Studio Gang, Kō'ula's unmistakable lines are reminiscent of the red sugar cane fields that used to grow in Ward Village, an area once known as the 'ili of Kukulu. To name the building, Native Hawaiian cultural expert and apparel designer Sig Zane researched the history of the area and landed on the name Kō'ula, or red sugar cane, as an homage to the plants that once thrived in this area. With its stunning exterior, a quick glance toward the sky instantly reveals the connection.
When Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang began to concept and visualize the residence, she sought to blur the lines between Honolulu's gentle environment with the building itself. "People yearn to feel connected to each other, but they also want to feel connected to the environment. It's really about architecture, nature, and community coming together to make it feel like a well-integrated ecosystem," says Gang. "We wanted people to really feel surrounded by this environment and connected to the climate, even though they're in an urban setting.
"Then there were these sugarcane reeds that we came across, which also have this incredible texture," Gang continued. "They're used in artwork and crafts. We were wondering if it was possible to design a building that feels like it's changing as it goes up, like the blade of the sugarcane seems to change with light and shadow."
To make maximum use of the warm, natural light that sets Hawai'i's stage, the intrepid minds at Studio Gang sought to bend the actual residences toward the adjacent coastline, a feat that improves the views, and "fosters a stronger connection with the island environment." To be sure, Studio Gang's creative approach to designing Kō'ula's silhouette transitions seamlessly into the interiors as well.
Once inside the home, Kō'ula's homage to nature is effortlessly manifested within the unit as well. Internationally recognized design team Yabu Pushelberg curated an interior collection that's both comfortable, graceful, minimal, and natural—all of it specifically designed for Kō'ula—and manifested into a term they're calling "high humble." Take a quick glance through the floor-to-ceiling windows in all of the one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes and you'll find that beauty of the interiors gracefully flow to the outside world. Every Tower Residence even features a private lanai.
"From the beginning, we wanted to make the outside and inside feel like one. This notion of them seamlessly blending together was really important to us. We also really wanted to have a sense of place and we wanted to use all the right materials that really tell the story. There's a respect and nod to history, based on the craft and culture," says Glenn 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."
Not only will Kō'ula residents have breathtaking vistas and stunning design features welcoming them home, but they'll also be part of a thriving, dynamic community that's second to none in the city. Focused on walkability, smart design, and convenience, within Ward Village's master-planned community, Kō'ula strives to create a higher quality of life for residents. At Kō'ula specifically, homeowners will be steps away from Victoria Ward Park and ample green space, living the good life set amid a true oasis-esque environment in the heart of the city. Surrounded by all of the comforts and amenities that have come to define Ward Village, Kō'ula sets a new benchmark in forward-thinking design and thoughtful living. It's a place where the touch of nature reigns supreme, where the outside beauty of nearby parks blends into the garden-like setting of the building itself, creating an aesthetic that's unlike anything else you'll find in the city. Welcome to the new benchmark in sophisticated urban living. Welcome to Kō'ula.
The Optimist: Solomon Enos
Oct 25, 2018
Native Hawaiian artist Solomon Enos on augmented reality, cultural narratives, and more.