Hale Lana is a 1,598 square metre house designed for a couple who wanted ample space to host large gatherings on Hawaii’s Big Island. Its name translates to “floating home” as each structure is lifted slightly above the lava bed – a plain of flat lava flows. Piles of the red and black rocks are situated around the grassy property and form a cascading hill at its edge.
Designed by Olson Kundig architects, the intention was for the home to feel like a canopy on the Hawaiian landscape, transparent between inside and outside.
Glass walls and open walkways face the lush greenery and monolithic rock walls that enclose the property. Corrugated metal covers the house’s double-pitched roofs, which are modelled after traditional homes on the island. The expansive covering spans across each unit to cantilever over the wood decking edging each structure.
The roof picks up on the local Hawaiian vernacular, where large canopy roofs gather prevailing trade wind breezes and keep them moving through the building.
The largest structure is encased with sliding glass doors which houses the kitchen, main living area and several bedrooms. A covered lanais, or veranda, connects it to the other four buildings: a master suite, guest suite, utility space and cabana.
Inside, the ceilings are clad with wood planks seamlessly continued from the underside of the roof canopy. A full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a black bar counter and seating furnish the cabana, which faces a long swimming pool situated in the backyard.
Wood benches, outdoor dining tables and couches are arranged on the deck spaces between the connecting units.