Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Ward Village Gateway Towers

Honolulu, Hawaii

2013 -

The Ward Village Gateway Towers in Honolulu, Hawaii define the center of an ambitious and sustainable 60-acre coastal development located in the city’s Kaka’ako district. The nuanced plan embraces the extraordinary site’s rich cultural history and engages its breathtaking natural surroundings. The project’s distinctive architecture, publicly accessible landscape, and diverse amenities will activate a vibrant new civic center in the heart of Honolulu and significantly enhance the region’s emerging skyline.

On a conceptual level, the Gateway Towers site plan is influenced by the historical proportions of the site’s former salt ponds and saltpan grids. Another link to the past will be the revitalization of the area’s once vital, but long-hidden, natural spring waterway, which will be augmented to flow through the project’s new, publicly accessible estuary located in a one-acre outdoor room defined by the Gateway Towers and the adjacent marina.

Blade and Cylinder shaped, the towers define the core of the master plan and establish the development’s iconic waterfront presence. The thin, 36-story Blade is aligned with the modern high-rises of downtown Honolulu and simultaneously engages the region’s historic urban fabric. Relative to the waterfront, the Blade rotates to “open the gateway” when approaching from Ala Moana Boulevard and the marina. The 29-story Cylinder has an axis coordinated with the Blade, but through its form and massing, provides a balanced counterpoint and architectural transition that reorients the adjacent low-rise Gateway Villas and Townhouses to the ocean.

Integrated exterior shading elements and large sheets of crystal-clear, state of the art glass, which symbolically reflect the purity of Hawaiian water and the surrounding natural landscape, will frame the site’s stunning vistas. In Honolulu, the quality of daylight is heightened by the dynamic patterns of shade and shadow from clouds driven by trade winds. This project creates timeless waterfront homes that capture the quality of place and light unique to this idyllic setting.