With clients eager to prove just how much could be done to make a home in Hawaii sustainable and fit to age in place the landscape architect took on the task of maintaining the most important pieces of the landscape, while completely regrading to fit the new house and new entrances. This site is on a steep hillside overlooking the world famous Lanikai beach. A large existing Monkeypod tree helped shaped the entry stairs which were chosen to be a wood frame structure because of it’s minimal footprint and impact to the existing tree’s roots. The lower stair needed to be rock and concrete partly because we needed to retain soil away from the edge of the house, where decking covered open areas that allow for natural ventilation under the house for cooling. A series of large stepped platforms were designed to eliminate the need for additional safety railing and provide display space for dwarf plumeria in large planters. All of the rock walls and loose stacked stone in the final design was found on-site. A footwash and a full shower hidden behind an existing Areca palm insure that trips to the beach don’t get tracked into the house.
Due to the very narrow side yards, it was preferable to handle the rainwater that falls on the upper yard in the same location. So a rain garden with native Carex grass, native Bacopa, and variegated Ti Leaf was planned to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. The previous concrete stairs leading down to the house included tiny rock and black marble pictograms that resembled petroglyphs, and the owner wanted to keep that personal touch. These were updated to the color scheme of the new home and planned for each step as well as larger pictographs on the landings to convey pueo and honu.
This house is unique in that it has two sources of alternative irrigation water. First there is a large rainwater catchment tank hidden below the lower pool deck. Secondly, grey water from bathroom sinks and laundry is treated and then available. This is one of the first homes reviewed by the Department of Health for their Greywater Reuse Guidelines in a sewered area. The project was awarded LEED Platinum Certification and won a Hawaii Chapter ASLA Award as well as a Scenic Hawaii’s Betty Crocker Award. Completed at Belt Collins Hawaii LLC.