Belzberg Architects have recently completed the Kona Residence in Hawaii.
Nestled between cooled lava flows, the Kona residence situates its axis not with the linearity of the property but rather with the axiality of predominant views available to the site. Within the dichotomy of natural elements and geometric hardscape the residence attempts to integrate both the surrounding views of volcanic mountain ranges to the east and ocean horizons westward. 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 contemporary 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.
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