In 1935, Captain Howard B. Nurse devised a master plan for a Non-Commissioned Officers’ Open Mess Building for servicemen and their spouses. Dutch-born architect Jozef B. A. Van Oort eventually designed the single-story, cement building, which opened in 1941. Nicknamed the NCO Club, the building housed a dining room, library, lounge, bar, and card room, showcasing subtle Art Deco and Moderne details with a prominent Hawaiian motif.
Decades later, the building’s location was no longer convenient for service families, and in 2008 U.S. Air Force officials decided to repurpose the building as a community center for the new Hickam Communities housing privatization: the Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam.
Removing all post-1941 additions to the exterior and reducing the square footage from 26,000 to the original 10,000, the Building Team, led by submitting firm Lend Lease (CM), with Mason Architects Inc. (architect), Shigemura, Lau, Sakanashi, Higuchi & Associates (structural engineer), Lincolne Scott (mechanical/electrical engineer), and KPRS Hawaii Construction (GC), created an ideal social spot for local families. A new library and media center, fitness facility, and meeting and party rooms are among the amenities available.
“The Building Team took an old building and made it old again,” said BD+C Reconstruction Awards Judge Steve Martinez. “They took an abused building and rejuvenated it to benefit the community.” BD+C