Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Hawai’i Wildlife Center in Halaula by Ruhl Walker Architects
August 27th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ruhl Walker Architects
Anticipated completion, November 2011
The Hawai’i Wildlife Center is a non-profit conservation organization which will operate Hawai’i’s first wildlife recovery center when this building is completed in late 2011. Located in Halaula, North Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the HWC is dedicated to the conservation and recovery of Hawai’i’s vulnerable, too often endangered native wildlife through hands-on treatment, research, training, science education, and cultural programs. The new complex will consist of three integrated and sustainably designed components: a wildlife care and response facility, an interpretive and outreach lanai and native species garden, and an open-air education pavilion.
The design of the HWC is an abstraction of the archetypal Hawaiian commercial architecture of the nearby towns of Hawi and Kapa’au, with a planar front facade concealing conventional (affordable) shed and gable-roofed forms behind. The front facade of the HWC is a collage of flush fiber cement lap siding and trim of varying dimensions held apart to enhance natural ventilation to the open air education pavilion, lanai, and staging porch. At the education pavilion, these fiber cement slats are modulated to create an oversized ‘window’ facing the street. Behind the main facade, the walls of the treatment facility are sheathed in locally fabricated corrugated steel, while the walls of the staging porch and education pavilion are sheathed in translucent corrugated polycarbonate. The HWC will be naturally ventilated and cooled by the dependable trade winds, its water will be stored in catchment tanks and solar heated, and its non-emergency electrical needs will be met by roof mounted photovoltaics.
The entire design / engineering / project management team provided their services pro bono, and many of the contractors and subcontractors donated a portion of their materials and / or services. See www.hawaiiwildlifecenter.org for additional information.
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