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May 8, 2003




          Within 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 Mayor Jeremy Harris.  “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 Kûkulu 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.

           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 Kûkulu Hale Awards recognize projects and individuals that have made significant contributions to the commercial real estate industry and its communities.



Thursday, May 08, 2003

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