Located in one of the most exotic landscapes on Earth, Hawaii, The Kona Residence expresses nothing a modern luxurious design where traditional elements meet contemporary architecture in a realm that brings out the best of both. A contemporary mansion in other words, the project of a renowned architect, Hagy Belzeberg, who’s work we have previously featured on our website: The Expression of a Modern Mansion by Hagy Belzberg, a project very similar to this one.
The most striking attribute of the ensemble is the entry point which is marked through wood pavilion, made out of a traditional material, local basket weaving. Despite the architects intention to make it look like it belongs, because of the digital technology used in its development, the pavilion appears as a very futuristic shape, providing this modern mansion a sense of personality because of the unique design. The second fact that proves the ingeniousity of the designers is the efficiency and economy of their project. Kona Residence is an amazing collection of recycled materials and energy saving installations. The designers used reclaimed barn wood, a solar power system and have fitted the house with a system that allows rainwater to be collected rather than thrown away. At first glance it doesn’t look like much but, on a long term, these small interventions will prove their efficiency. The eco-friendly features of this project are sort of unusual and we wouldn’t normally expect such attention to detail when it comes to designing a luxurious modern mansion, because of its non-restrictive financial attributes. However, their presence a indicates that even when it comes to this type of planning, sustainability is not an option but rather a necessity, something that contemporary architecture demands and cannot be made without.
Here are some more details from the architects:
“The program is arranged as a series of pods distributed throughout the property, each having its own unique features and view opportunities.
The pods are programmatically assigned as two sleeping pods with common areas, media, master suite and main living space. A central axis becomes the organizational and focal feature for the entire house, connecting each of the pods through an exterior gallery corridor. To help maintain the environmental sensitivity of the house, 2 separate arrays of roof mounted photovoltaic panels offset the residence energy usage while the choice of darker lava stone help heat the pool water via solar radiation.
Rain water collection and redirection to 3 drywells that replenish the aquifer are implemented throughout the property. Reclaimed teak timber from older barns and train tracks are recycled for the exterior of the home. Together with stacked and cut lava rock, the two materials form a historically driven medium embedded in Hawaiian tradition.
3-D modeling and digital fabrication through CNC machinery was incorporated to further enhance traditional elements in a luxurious contemporary interior design arrangement. Local basket weaving culture was the inspiration for the entry pavilion which reenacts the traditional gift upon arrival ceremony. CNC milled ceilings and screens throughout the house continue the abstract approach to traditional Hawaiian wood carving.”
Green projects have proved their reliability and function but up to this day most people still find them a bit boring and inexpressive. This project however begs to differ and shows through its ingenious design that Eco-friendly architecture is a thing for the future even for high end modern mansions, placed in exotic locations.
Architect: Belzberg Architects
Location: Kona, Hawaii, USA
Project Team: Hagy Belzberg, Principal; Barry Gartin, Project Manager; David Cheung, Barry Gartin, Cory Taylor, Andrew Atwood, Chris Arntzen, Brock DeSmit, Dan Rentsch, Lauren Zuzack, Justin Brechtel, Phillip Lee, aron Leppanen
Interiors: MLK Studio
Landscape Architect: Belt Collins Hawaii
Project Area: 7,800 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Benny Chan (Fotoworks), Belzberg Architects