Located along the rugged coastline of Kona, Hawaii, this special residence embraces the spirit of Mauka-Makai – the symbolic flow of lava from the mountain to the sea – through its direct connections to the volcanic landscape and exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean. The architectural design is by Walker Warner Architects, in collaboration with NicoleHollis for interior design and Lutsko Associates for landscape.
The renowned San Francisco-based American firm Walker Warner Architects perches a basalt and cedar vacation home in Hawaii on the side of a lava rock mountain, with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. The rooms and spaces are designed to dissolve into each other, a concept inspired by the way lava and water flow into the Pacific Ocean. The challenge was to manipulate the site so that the building blends into the view, while providing a graceful, multi-level experience from the mountain to the sea. Visitors enter through a private driveway, built between dramatic 5-meter-high lava rock formations, protecting the property from neighbors and reducing its visual impact from the road. This passageway leads to a sunken parking lot with a garage hidden from the rest of the home by decorative Corten steel panels, also concealing a small guest house with a living roof, renaturalized with lava rock and native grasses, which emphasizes the building’s direct relationship with the site. Large windows in the guest house bedroom open onto a small mountain-facing terrace with a private outdoor shower and shaped like a rock cave with a fountain mimicking molten lava. A raised courtyard to the main building volume runs alongside reflecting pools and serves as a private gathering place, sheltered from trade winds, where guests can contemplate and enjoy the mountain and sea views. Parallel to this, on the other side of the courtyard, is a group of trees and a large lawn, at the end of which the sea appears through floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Yellow Alaskan cedar contrasts with darker basalt and steel to form the central hall. The furniture is casual, favoring light-hued sofas and chairs to match the dark lava and basalt. A lanai, or traditional hawaiian terrace, facing the ocean descends to an infinity pool with a stunning view.