Location:  Honolulu, Hawaii

Client:  The Estate of James Campbell

The official designation of Ewa by the City and County of Honolulu as its Secondary Urban Center established the Kapolei Town Center urban design as the largest and most significant planning project since Hawaii statehood. This public/private project involved extensive interface with community groups, City, County and State agencies. Located 20 miles from downtown Honolulu, the site is approximately 6,000 acres and includes six million square feet of commercial space and 12,000 housing units.

The design team’s task was to create a physical development plan which could be implemented over many years. The concept is that of a true, satellite city, self-sufficient but not necessarily self-contained, as a complement to urban Honolulu. Its boundaries are formed by surrounding projects and existing developments. The Town Center provides public facilities, major roads and land uses not currently provided or anticipated in the surrounding area. The Town Center is also planned to accommodate a future transit link to Honolulu.

Organized with a city grid, the Town Center plan introduces urban design guidelines that encourage elements of traditional Hawaiian culture such as garden setting, use of indigenous lava, coral and bluestone building materials, and provision of traditional building elements such as atria, roofed balconies, arcades and courtyards. Based on historical research, the open space system reestablishes the Hawaiian loku, i.e., small parks designed for casual recreation and informal gatherings.

The urban design creates a new town which is distinctly Hawaiian in character. It is scaled for the pedestrian, oriented to views toward the ocean (makai) and the inland mountains (mauka). Design was preceded by substantial research into the mythological, archaeological and historical context of the region; especially significant locations are made key public places.