UH students design Kakaako makeover

UH students design Kakaako makeover
Will Paluch
Will Paluch
Austin Poe
Austin Poe

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- How's this for a final exam.

UH architecture students had to redesign an entire city block in Kakaako for a class assignment.

Landowner Kamemahameha Schools calls it Block F -- a rectangle bordered by Ala Moana boulevard and Auahi, Keawe and Coral sKamehameha

The area is a mix of light industrial businesses and old style buildings.

"The Quonset hut is a very distinct form in that area," student Noryn Lau said.

The students had to give the block a facelift and a new personality.

"The students need to do extensive site analysis. They need to come to have a personal relationship with the site to understand the developer's prospective use," UH professor William Paluch said.

They worked with the landowner, a contractor, and engineers to plan and design their vision for the block It took a whole semester.

"There's always a couple steps forward, a couple steps back, and constantly making revisions to make it work," student Austin Poe said.

Poe and his classmates had an imaginary budget of $100,000.

A beer garden had to be included to complement an existing hot dog stand on Coral street.

The designs also had to consider sunshine and trade winds to make sure their buildings stayed cool and to take advantage of natural breezes.

Through renderings and models the students transformed Block F into a district with dwellings, galleries and restaurants.

"This is actually a real project not a hypothetical, imaginary project we do in studio," Lau said.

The block is part of Kamehameha Schools master plan for Kakaako. The landowner reserves the right to use some of the student's ideas.

"That would be awesome," Poe said.

That would be a big break for a budding architect.

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