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21 of 3,816
Inside a Tucked-Away Rural Hawaiian Retreat
Publisher:
Architectural Digest
New York, New York, USA
Media, Architecture, Interior Design
Author: 
Leilani Marie Labong
Date Published: 
2021-02-19
Keywords: 
Kiholo Bay, Kona, Hawaii, Retreat, Single Family Home, Interior Design
Tapestry Statistics:
ID: 
3996
Added: 
2021-02-22 16:30:02
Updated: 
2021-02-22 16:36:01
Content Score: 
11.12
Profile Views: 
329
Click Throughs: 
882
Image:
Douglas Friedman
Excerpt:
Hale Huna, meaning “secret house” in Hawai‘ian, is a hidden gem on the shore of the Kiholo Bay

Over dusty ranch roads through North Kona’s centuries-old lava fields, Hale Huna sits quietly—some even say stealthily—on the shore of Kiholo Bay. Built for a couple of Silicon Valley veterans, this rural retreat on the Big Island of Hawai‘i simply does not want to be found. “It’s the only house within miles, and it’s completely off the grid,” says architect Greg Warner, principal of Walker Warner Architects in San Francisco. “So we decided to really make it go away.” As such, hale huna means “secret house” in the Hawaiian language.

Inspired by the plantation heritage of the islands, Warner, who grew up in Hawai‘i, designed two low-slung bungalows (a main gathering house and another for sleeping) with crisp lines and exteriors clad in the most agrarian of materials: corrugated metal darkly stained to cloak among the ‘a‘a, or volcanic rock. Wide openings and deep lanais provide comfortable experiences at different times of day—relative to the sun and the wind, that is—while framing the best possible views.

A mauka (mountainside) lanai is snuggled against the lava, a sheltered spot from Kona’s whipping trade winds with a wide perspective on starry evenings. The main bedroom is also auspiciously oriented in the same direction to catch the sunrise over the Mauna Kea, a sacred mountain. And the living room’s full-height windows look makai (seaward), to capture the sunset as it casts colors from coral to cobalt over the coast—a line of sight that stretches to the northern tip of the island. “It’s like a painting,” says Warner. “It gives you such an appreciation of the shape of the land.”

In a way, Hale Huna’s strong and silent architecture exists to heighten Hawai‘i’s striking geography, from serrated shores to softly sloping volcanoes and all that craggy lava rock in between. The decor takes a different approach. “I did the opposite of what the architecture accomplishes so beautifully,” says Oakland, California, designer Jon de la Cruz. “Inside, things have asymmetry and softness, a little island color and a lot of ease.”

Cultural textiles anchor the home, from batik bedding to upholstery that evokes the abstract patterns of traditional Hawai‘ian tapa, or barkcloth. (In the lounge, a 2007 Richard Serra etching, Paths and Edges, also recalls the geometry and repetition of this Polynesian art form.) A bold graphic of spiky fan palms gives one guest bedroom a tropical punch, while custom clover-shaped side tables throughout the home are a subtler take on island botanicals. Designer de la Cruz created them as an homage to the leaves of the ‘ohi‘a lehua tree, a famous casualty of Pele’s wrath in Hawaiian mythology. (Pele is the goddess of fire and volcanoes in local lore.)

Against the modern architecture and sun-beaten landscape of sharp lava rock, the gentle curves of the interior design are ironically brazen. A soothing visual exhale, they also conjure the island’s legendary liquid assets: Vintage Vladimir Kagan Freeform sofas in the living room, for instance, evoke Kiholo Bay in both their crescent shape and upholstery of ocean-hued antique Japanese boro quilts. Meanwhile, the wavy silhouette of the tiered T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Mesa table, also in the living room, is reminiscent of tide pools.

Over in the primary bedroom, a “circuit board” by San Francisco artist Windy Chien, who interpreted the slow skulk of molten lava in black rope and skillful knotting, serves as a room divider. And as a final touch, the home’s hand-textured concrete floors and banana-fiber abaca rugs from the Philippines are deliberately beachy underfoot, a way of experiencing the mana, or healing power, of the location. “You can practically feel the waves at your feet,” says de la Cruz.

Organizations Mentioned: (2)
de la Cruz Interior Design
Oakland, California, USA
Interior Design
Vladimir Kagan
New York, New York, USA
Products, Product Design, Furniture, Sofas, Chairs, Tables, Lighting