Designs unveiled for new residential tower in Honolulu

Studio Gang pays homage to sugarcane plants that were once prevalent in this area.

November 20, 2018 |

The 41-story Ko'ula residential tower is part of a 60-acre waterfront redevelopment in downtown Honolulu. Image: The Howard Hughes Corporation

Studio Gang has designed a 41-story residential high rise called Ko’ula that would be a central component within the 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

The tower will include 565 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences, each with its own lanai, or veranda. The design of the building—which twists as it rises and undulates to create a succession of different floor plans—recalls the shape of red sugarcane plants that once grew in this area.

The Howard Hughes Corporation is the developer on this tower and Ward Village. The design firm Yabu Pushelberg designed Ko’ula’s interiors, which will showcase natural materials, colors, and textures. The project has yet to name its other Building Team members.

A porte cochiere connects the high rise to an expansive courtyard. Image: The Howard Hughes Corporation


The high rise will connect to a public porch that opens onto an expansive courtyard that will serve as another entry point for Ward Village’s Central Plaza, which began construction earlier this year and whose first phase is expected to open to the public in January. The completed tower will include 58,300 sf of dining and retail spaces, 11,000 sf of open spaces, and 58,496 sf of recreational spaces.

Ko’ula’s residents will have exclusive access to a lobby and dropoff area located a level above the street.

A sales office that the design firm Woods Bagot converted from a 1960s-era office building will start taking purchase orders for Ko’ula’s residences later this year. Ko’ula is scheduled to break ground sometime in 2019, although no specific date has been set. Hughes has not disclosed a completion date nor the project’s anticipated cost.

One of the amenities decks within the Ko'ula high rise, which will offer 565 apartments. Image: The Howard Hughes Corporation


The Ward Village district is located between downtown Honolulu and Waikīkī. As part of the district’s redevelopment, Howard Hughes Corporation last summer topped off a 43-story mixed-use tower called Ke Kilohana, with 424 residential units, 375 of which targeting workforce buyers.  

When it’s completed, Ward Village will have 4,500 residences and one million sf of retail space. It is part of Ka’kaako, Honolulu’s commercial and retail district for which the city has laid out ambitious expansion plans that include 30 new buildings.

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