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Department of Parks and Recreation
Michele K. Nekota Director Designate
Jeanne C. Ishikawa, Deputy Director

1000 Uluohia Street,
Suite 309
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Phone: (808) 768-3003
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Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaii State Fish) Hanauma Bay Recognition Naso Tang Fish

May 8, 2003


AIA 2003 AwardWithin the last month the American Institute of Architects Honolulu Chapter (AIA Honolulu) and the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) have recognized the Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center with awards for excellence.  These are the second and third prestigious design awards the popular marine attraction has received in less than 30 days.  Last month the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau honored the City project with its Kahili Award for architecture.
"These awards are a much-appreciated acknowledgement of the fact that the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of the most spectacular natural resources on the island of Oahu," said former Mayor Jeremy Harris.

Mayor, Jeremy Harris Accepting The Award "Since its completion last summer, the Marine Education Center has earned rave reviews from Hawaii's top professional organizations.  Their members understand, as do many of our residents and visitors, that Hanauma Bay is a jewel of an attraction that must be preserved for all time.  I offer my heartfelt thanks to the architects and contractors whose efforts allow us to fully appreciate and enjoy the Bay and its natural ecosystems."

In granting the Marine Education Center the prestigious Award of Merit, AIA Honolulu judges noted its "adventurous, people-oriented" design that preserves the scenic beauty of the crater rim by blending naturally with the environment.

NAIOP recognized the Education Center with its Kūkulu Hale Award for New Public Projects, taking special note of the designers' efforts to house the facility's educational functions by making them largely indiscernible from public approach and the floor of the bay, thus preserving the natural integrity of the surrounding environment.

AIA Honolulu also gave an Award of Merit to the City's Myron "Pinky" Thompson Canoe Halau in Hawaii Kai.  The halau combines an efficient canoe-storage layout with a square, low-profile hip roof to capture the essence of the paddling community and the ohana spirit of the Hawaiian culture.

The Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center was opened to the public in August 2002, following extensive improvements to the grounds and facilities at Nature Preserve.  The 8,100 square foot facility features a theater, an education alcove, gift shop and food concession at the upper level of the Bay.  Rest facilities, outdoor showers, snorkeling concession, and a new information center are located in the lower Bay area.  Together, these improvements help protect the environment and stimulate the local economy by showcasing the popular visitor attraction for the estimated one million people who visit the area each year.  They also provide educational opportunities for Hawaii's visitors and our local keiki.  Visitor fees pay for all operating and capital costs at the Nature Preserve.

Roy Nihei Of Group 70, Architects Of The Project. Group 70 International, Inc. designed the Marine Education Center and provided the master plan for the improvements.  The lower Bay improvements were designed by INK Architects, Inc.  The lead designer was Francis S. Oda, AIA, the designer was Stephen Yuen, AIA, and Roy H. Nihei was the principal in charge.  The project contractor was T. Iida Contracting, Ltd.  Consultants included SSFM International, Inc., Moss Engineering, Inc., Walters Kimura Motoda, Inc., Cedric D.O. Chong & Associates, Inc., Rider Hunt Levett & Bailey, Ltd., URS Corporation, Bishop Museum, and Clarence Lee Design, Inc.

The AIA Honolulu Awards program is the longest running of its kind in Hawaii, going back more than 50 years.  A jury comprised of recognized AIA architects and professionals from affiliated design organizations judges each submission on its individual merits.

NAIOP is Hawaii's leading association for commercial real estate industry decision makers, and is comprised of developers, owners, investors, asset managers, lenders and other professionals.  The Kūkulu Hale Awards recognize projects and individuals that have made significant contributions to the commercial real estate industry and its communities.

BIA Award
BIA Award Page From Honolulu MagazineHanauma Bay Marine Education Center: This education center takes the art of low profile to a new level--underground. The cave-like environment preserves the scenic beauty of the crater rim by remaining largely imperceptible from the public approach and the floor of the bay; man-made rock walls were formed with molds cast from the existing cliff face. The center never sacrifices functionality for form--included are a theater, an education alcove, offices, restrooms, a gift shop, a food area and more.
 Award Team
Bay Manager Alan Hong holds the Overall Grand Award from the Building Industry Association's 2003 Renaissance Awards. He is flanked by architect designer Steve Yuen of Group 70, project supporter Cynthia Bond, and Group 70 CEO Francis Oda.

Mayor Jeremy Harris Welcomes Friends of Hanauma Bay President John Norris To His Office.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann welcomes Friends of Hanauma Bay President Cynthia Bond. The non-profit Friends organization offers strong support to preserving Hanauma Bay.

Willy A Volunteer Willy is one of the dedicated volunteers who help ensure an enjoyable and informative visit.

Arthur A Grounds Keeper 
Arthur and the rest of the Bay staff are justifiably proud of the professional job they do in maintaining the lush grounds at the Nature Preserve.
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Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 08, 2012