Honolulu Museum of Art
Clare Boothe Luce Wing
Honolulu, O‘ahu
1977 (Formerly The Honolulu Academy of Arts)
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In 1927, New York archi­tect Bertram Good­hue designed the Hon­olu­lu Acad­e­my of Arts, estab­lish­ing one of the first and finest exam­ples of a 20th cen­tu­ry Hawai­ian style of archi­tec­ture. In Goodhue’s hands this style was one of unor­na­ment­ed clas­sic vol­umes, well-stud­ied and dig­ni­fied in their pro­por­tion, with steep tiled roofs, log­gias, stuc­co walls over rub­ble stone, and cham­fered door­jambs sur­round­ing utter­ly sim­ple white gal­leries. Goodhue’s archi­tec­tur­al lan­guage is one of a series of alter­nat­ing court­yards and enclosed gal­leries that lead the vis­i­tor through nat­ur­al tran­si­tions between indoors and shel­tered out­door spaces. 

The first of John Hara’s two archi­tec­tur­al projects for addi­tions to this his­toric Good­hue build­ing was the Clare Boothe Luce Wing, which cre­at­ed a much-need­ed new gallery on the main lev­el. A the­ater or lec­ture hall occu­pies the base­ment lev­el below, with a sep­a­rate street-lev­el entry to the the­ater which facil­i­tates after-hours use. Staff offices and a Director’s Office were housed on the sec­ond floor above, with views into the sur­round­ing tree canopy. 

The lan­guage of the new archi­tec­ture is care­ful­ly dis­tin­guished from the old with­out mim­ic­ry. While respect­ing the orig­i­nal building’s cadence, form, and its dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and employ­ment of dou­ble-height and low­er log­gia spaces to accom­mo­date and enhance func­tion, the new Wing also pre­serves the sys­tem of arcades through the build­ing and pro­vides for the Academy’s even­tu­al fur­ther extension.