Punahou School
Wo International Center
Honolulu, O‘ahu
Info +

The Wo Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter, unique as a build­ing devot­ed entire­ly to inter­na­tion­al stud­ies, expands the glob­al per­spec­tive inher­ent in the aca­d­e­m­ic and extracur­ric­u­lar oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to Puna­hou students.

Locat­ed in a posi­tion on a slope which coher­ent­ly links all of the struc­tures along Cham­ber­lain Dri­ve on the Puna­hou Cam­pus, the build­ing is inten­tion­al­ly an unpre­ten­tious neigh­bor. Seen from the cen­tral cam­pus, its one-sto­ry scale uni­fies the School’s grounds. Along the approach road below, the Wo Center’s deep roof pitch and dou­ble-height ele­va­tion rein­force the School’s long archi­tec­tur­al design tra­di­tion of sloped tile or slate roofs, plas­ter walls, and the qui­et reflec­tion of each building’s place in time.

The Center’s plan aris­es from its pro­gram of mul­ti-use class­rooms incor­po­rat­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, offices, con­fer­ence rooms, a recep­tion area, and a 150-seat audi­to­ri­um with a four-lan­guage simul­ta­ne­ous trans­la­tion sys­tem using infrared tech­nol­o­gy and capa­ble of receiv­ing satel­lite pro­grams. A sep­a­rate lob­by entrance into the audi­to­ri­um pro­vides for com­mu­ni­ty use of the facil­i­ty dur­ing non-core hours. With­in the building’s con­tem­po­rary inte­ri­ors, arti­facts from the Ming and Han Dynas­ties and from Papua New Guinea donat­ed by Hawai‘i artist John Young are housed in spe­cial­ly-designed dis­play cas­es in the lob­by and recep­tion areas, sig­nal­ing the building’s inter­na­tion­al functions.

Awards +
Excellence in Architecture, 1992
The American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter