'Hala Hill'

House: 2 Bedrooms, 1 bath, 1,700 SF
Garage: 700 SF




    This waterfront Kawela, Moloka'i, home was constructed on Kanoa Pond, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond that is a State and Federal Historic site. The owners wanted to create a home that would connect the house to it's location and history, and that would be reminiscent of times past. In doing so, the steep-pitched roof of the traditional Hawaiian grass hale (house) was up-dated to six-sides, and the mountains, the ocean and ancient fishpond beyond were visually connected through a central closed-in lanai. Three pods, each representative of an ancient hale, join together as a small village.

    The owners refer to their home as Pu'uhala - hala hill - the traditional Hawaiian name for the location. Ancient Hawaiians wove lauhala (leaves of the pandanus tree) into household items, such as the floor mat in the lanai. Connecting living space to the 'aina, or land, is a key element in kama'aina (child of the land) homes.

    At the entry Brazilian koa hardwood floors welcome the Hawaiian custom of removing shoes before entering a home. Beadboard ply clads the lanai and the other hale walls. The south-facing eight-foot high sliding doors open to a velvety green lawn and a sand dune restored with endangered native Hawaiian plant species. Milgard double-glazed double-hung vinyl windows are period trimmed with wood hand-milled on the jobsite. Fully insulated against the typically intense Kawela heat, air moves through a 3-foot space between a false ceiling and the roof to naturally cool the structure: Tradewinds enter through vents under the eaves forcing hot air out ridge vents. Ceiling fans circulate air on the occasional windless day. The interior colors of muted yellow and a sage green are distinctively 1930s. Casual vintage rattan furnishings create an instant familiarity. The kanoa (awa bowl) atop a table discarded by a patient at Kalaupapa, subliminally reflects the Kanoa Pond location.

    An open-topped shower area is the focal point of the bedroom hale, framed with Walker-Zanger 1930s-style porcelain tiles and crown molding: A 1890s food safe stores towels. Satiny yellow marble covers the bathroom floor, highlighted with a yellow Kohler sink and toilet. Unsightly counter outlets are cleverly hidden, allowing clean lines for the quartzite.

    The kitchen hale features counters and a farm sink in gray quartzite with green and yellow veins. Fabricated on the jobsite, it took six men to carry and set the sink. Solid maple Wood Mode cabinets with a distressed dark green finish compliment Pacific Crest solid cherry cabinets in a custom stain. Matching Wood Mode doors face a 48" Viking refrigerator. Large pots for pasta are filled from the spout above the stove with water from a reverse osmosis system in the basement.
     Mauka waterfalls are viewed from the prep kitchen in which a 1939 porcelain sink is jokingly named "Hana Girl," or work girl: She is dressed in a vintage barkcloth 'mini skirt' and stands on custom-turned solid maple legs with 'stiletto heels.' The coffee center features four grinders, a drip appliance, and a LaPavoni espresso machine. A washer and dryer neatly tuck under-counter. Shelves are playfully supported with two 1970s tiki totems salvaged from a thrift shop. Stainless steel RangeCraft hood, Jenn-Air dishwasher, and Dynamic Cooking System propane stove add a touch of modern to the kitchen - the overall look is as if the home was constructed in the 1880s and remodeled several times over a span of a hundred-and-twenty-five years.