Hawaii Public Housing Authority
The following organizing opportunities have informed the conceptual plan for the proposal:
A. Provide Density in Mid-rise Apartment Blocks
- A total of about 600-700 rental apartments will be accommodated in 4-5 story double-loaded rental apartment buildings that step up the hillside. The units can range from 250 s.f. microhousing studio apartments to larger 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.
- Single point towers over exposed podium parking do not relate to the scale and fabric of the adjacent Kapalama – Liliha neighborhoods and are avoided as a primary building type. Instead, the towers are laid on their sides to create a low to mid-rise apartment buildings, more sympathetic c to the scale of the surrounding community. The 4-5 story double-loaded apartment buildings work with the sloping topography of the lower Alewa terrain, and are closer to the ground and allow for visual surveillance of the grounds and give ownership to the residents.
B. Garden Courtyard Concept and Serpentine Building Layout
- The mid-rise housing is visually connected and distributed across the irregular shaped site in a serpentine fashion. The serpentine arrangement seeks to mitigate the image of many public housing projects with dwelling units looking into one another in close proximity. Instead, the skewed arrangement allows for units to have angled or oblique views of mountains or ocean, with enclosed garden spaces that alternately open up to the sloping Alewa Heights/Kuakini Street topography or makai towards School Street.
- The mid-rise apartment buildings have sloping shed roofs that provide visual unity to the housing blocks, mimicking the sloping topography from Kuakini down to School Street. The shed roofs parallel the natural slope of the land and serve as a metaphor for a new man-made landscaped overlay.
C. Pedestrian Circular on and Connectivity
- A system of Ewa – Diamond Head walkways and promenade at podium level connects the 4 major gardens/major gathering spaces and makes them accessible to all residents.
- The landscaped podium conceals and separates the cars from people, and merges the podium with the existing grade on the uphill portion of the project, and would include a combination of real and artificial turf and ground cover, and strategically located tree wells, placed over the structured parking.
D. Retail & Community Spaces along Street Frontage
- Retail and community spaces will occur along School Street.
- Three urban courtyards are created along School Street with width of 80 feet x 40 feet depth that could have outdoor dining/cafes protected by retail and housing, and street trees. Planted green walls could soften and screen the face of the parking structure at the sidewalk courtyards.
E. Maintain a Place for HPHA Administration and Maintenance Yard
- HPHA services, including administrative offices (28,000 sf.) and maintenance facilities are located on the Ewa end of the 6.2 acre site.