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.