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OCEANIC RETREAT
Kaua'i, HI, United States, 2001

PROGRAM: private residence
CLIENT: withheld
SIZE: 5,400 sf
STATUS: study

The form for this private residence refers to its setting on the northwest prow of Kaua'i, an area prone to extremely strong hurricane winds and on the leading edge of a tectonic Pacific Ocean plate that has moved across a volcanic hotspot at a constant rate of 3.5 inches per year. Like two continents separated by a tectonic shift, an imaginary erosion creates two L-shaped forms: a main house and a guest house. The large room in the main house is based on the concept of stepping in section with increments of 3.5 inches (one year/one step). The roofs of the two stained-concrete structures are covered in photovoltaic solar panels, which reverse meter into the Kaua'i power grid. Volcanic stone found near the site was used to build the lap pool courtyard.

By imagining a datum parallel to the horizon that has struck the concrete house as a way of carving views and organization, space flows through the house like water; the plan and section contain, drop, embank, and then release the space down the curvilinear path through the natural gardens and finally to the ocean.
CREDITS

architect
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Martin Cox (design architect)
Arnault Biou, Jason Frantzen, Stephen O'Dell, Olaf Schmidt (project team)

local architect
– Peter Vincent & Associates LLC

engineer
– Guy Nordenson and Associates

general contractor
– Krekow-Jennings Inc.
Steve Farrell, PM
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