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Harbor Center


Home to The QEII 

A Developer Competition

Honolulu, HA

From the archives......

Harbour Center Mixed-Use Honolulu Hawaii Harbour Center was an invited competition to design 600,000 SF off1ce complex at the sit e of the historic Aloha Tower and incorporating the existing berthing pier of the Queen Elizabeth II. The site was encumbered by the existing historic pier to be restored and adaptively reused. The surrounding context included smaller scale retail and hotel facilities west of the expressway and high rise buildings to the east. The height limit was 500 feet allowing the building to serve as a bridge between two dramatically different scales.

The tower was sited parallel to the pier and the docking ships, an orientation in keeping with the pattern of the downtown street grid and yeilding panoramic views of the harbor, the channel and downtown Honolulu to the south. The narrow footprint of the tower was oriented for greatest solar advantage. The portal at the base offered views through the site and induced breezes in the island climate.

The project included an entry park along Ala Moana Boulevard and a dramatic cable-stay suspended pedestrian bridge across the busy street. The tower drew its inspiration from the sleek ocean liners which dock beside it. The wedge shaped north façade makes use of the road alignment to the form a prow while the rounded bow of the south facade creates a glassy belvedere overlooking Aloha Tower and channel.


by Allison Grace Williams FAIA

while Associate Partner with Skidmore Owings & Merrill

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