Client Kamehameha Schools

Kakaako Life Sciences Catalyst Project

Honolulu, Hawaii

The Life Sciences Catalyst Project provides highly flexible laboratory space in a culturally and environmentally-sensitive location. The project design pays homage to a culture, respecting its traditions - past, present and future - as well as its sensitivities. Taking cues from the patterns of man and nature as they relate to the surrounding mountains and ocean, the rolling roofline echoes the profiles of the shield volcanoes of Waianae and Koolau. The building's shading sails suggest the nearby ocean and the courtyard, with its hibiscus garden and water collecting channels, evoking natural forms found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Pedestrian circulation paths cross the garden, interconnecting it with the surrounding city.

The building’s sustainable elements include a vegetated roof, recycled materials, abundant daylight, the use of composite recycled wood louvers and cladding, and Teflon-coated fiberglass "sails." The external shading devices reduce heat gain and minimize solar radiation into the laboratories to reduce the risk of light contamination of experiments. 

At a glance

300,000 SF


Sustainable elements: vegetated roof, recycled materials, use of composite recycled wood louvers and cladding 

The external shading devices, Teflon-coated fiberglass "sails", reduce heat gain.


Master Planning


Architectural Design