Honolulu Museum of Art
Luce Pavilion
Honolulu, O‘ahu
2001 (Formerly The Honolulu Academy of Arts)
Info +

In 1997, twen­ty years after the con­struc­tion of John Hara’s design of the Clare Boothe Luce Wing as an addi­tion to archi­tect Bertram Goodhue’s 1927 Hon­olu­lu Acad­e­my of Arts build­ing, its Board of Trustees engaged Hara a sec­ond time for a project to bring the Acad­e­my into the 21st cen­tu­ry. Although the recent­ly renamed Muse­um is the pre-emi­nent fine arts facil­i­ty in the Islands, it had nev­er had suf­fi­cient facil­i­ties to allot per­ma­nent exhi­bi­tion space to its exten­sive col­lec­tion of Hawai­ian arts or to ded­i­cate a gallery to tem­po­rary and tour­ing exhi­bi­tions. The Luce Pavil­ion, adja­cent to and com­plet­ing the set­ting of the Luce Wing, achieves both of these goals. 

Based upon Goodhue’s fun­da­men­tal design prin­ci­ple for the Acad­e­my of the inte­gra­tion of inte­ri­or spaces and out­door courts, the Pavilion’s design con­cept is cen­tered upon its court­yard. This land­scaped court pro­vides pub­lic access to every area of the new wing and facil­i­tates new after-hours usage of the Doris Duke The­ater and oth­er facil­i­ties when the Muse­um is closed. The court’s exte­ri­or stair­way lead­ing to the sec­ond-floor gallery pro­longs the expe­ri­ence of being out­doors and offers an impor­tant ele­vat­ed per­spec­tive of the revered archi­tec­ture of the orig­i­nal building.

The Pavil­ion wing and court­yard include:

  a gift shop and out­door café pro­vid­ing spe­cial ameni­ty to vis­i­tors, spaces for pri­vate func­tions, and much-need­ed rev­enue to the Academy; 

  two 4,000 square foot exhi­bi­tion gal­leries stacked ver­ti­cal­ly for effi­cien­cy of space uti­liza­tion for art of the past and future, tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tions down­stairs, and the Academy’s per­ma­nent Hawai­ian col­lec­tion upstairs;

  a 1,100 square foot kitchen;

  400 square feet of staff offices; and

  16,300 square feet of sup­port spaces in the form of exhi­bi­tion prepa­ra­tion areas, stor­age, mechanical/electrical rooms, and toilets. 

While the Luce Pavil­ion cre­ates a wel­com­ing ambi­ence at the core of the Muse­um, its design inten­tion­al­ly does not lose sight of the new wing’s pur­pose: to be a back­drop for art and human inter­ac­tion with art. Nat­ur­al mate­ri­als and earth tones pro­vide a neu­tral set­ting for the suc­cess­ful exhi­bi­tion of high­ly diverse art forms, and archi­tec­tur­al elab­o­ra­tion is min­i­mal, char­ac­ter­is­tic of an ele­gant, con­sid­ered con­tain­er for the focus of attention. 

The care­ful­ly cal­i­brat­ed design ele­ments in the new courtyard—the pool with its cas­cad­ing water, clay tile roof, per­fo­rat­ed stair­way wall, and mon­u­men­tal con­tem­po­rary ceram­ic forms of artist Jun Kaneko—are estab­lished in a care­ful inter­play with rich flo­ra.  All pay homage to and con­tin­ue to explore and re-define Goodhue’s orig­i­nal rela­tion­ships between shad­ed inte­ri­ors and sun­lit places in which to linger in prox­im­i­ty to art. 


Awards +
Merit Award, 2001
Building Industry Association—Hawaii Awards Program
Award of Excellence, 2001
The American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter
Excellence in Architecture Design, 2002
Hawaiian Cement Awards Program