Housing for the homeless in Hawaii

Kauhale (house, plural) is a traditional Hawaiian housing typology, consisting of men’s eating house, women’s eating house, sleeping house, cook-house, canoe house, etc. The traditional pole-and-thatch hale was an essential vernacular type composed of a rock foundation and a light wood frame structure covered with a thatch roof. Our project reconceptualizes the kauhale as a series of buildings prefabricated with a light metal panel system that sit on shallow plinths built on site. This strategy capitalizes on the economies of scale of the project to manufacture most of the components in main land US, while securing a bespoke fit to each of the sites in Hawaii. The project, scalable to the hundreds of units, consists of a combination of short-term efficiency units, long term apartments and support buildings.

Renders: Andrea Oliveros Grajeda

© Jesús Vassallo, 2020