Text by Anggita D S, Images courtesy of de Reus Architects.
It’s hard not to be in awe when taking in the sights of Kaupulehu Residence. Not only due to the sheer size of the property which is a whopping 1,668m2 – but also the way it was styled and designed, the kind of design that leaves you with a lingering impression. There is certainly a sense of grandeur about this home, but at the same time, Kaupulehu Residence aims to find an equilibrium with nature: an aesthetic balance where home as a tropical sanctuary, would fit into this severely beautiful setting with quiet strength. Indeed, there is a Japanese-like sense of restraint that is prevalent throughout the design.
Working alongside The Wiseman Group as interior designers and Vita Planning and Landscape Architecture as landscape designers, de Reus Architects was entrusted to translate their client’s vision and create a home on their property at South Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii. As related by Mark de Reus, founding design partner of de Reus Architects to Sugar & Cream, the initial design was for the building and landscape to evolve together as one design one expression. “The design vision for this home was greatly influenced from a recent trip I had taken to Kyoto touring temples and gardens,” says de Reus. “What was so impressive and inspirational was the sense of harmony and balance that came about from having buildings and gardens so interlinked in spirit, so thoughtfully crafted together as one experience.”
He goes on to explain that the home itself is organized as a series of connected and separated hipped roof pavilions or hales as they are called in Hawaii, and planned with a sensibility of a village. These pavilion-like hipped roofs convey a sense of island architecture. The clients themselves, for their part, actually had very few design requests they wanted to achieve a high level of craftsmanship, a good use of curves, as well as the use of the recycled teak roof shingles. The desire for curves accommodated in part by stone walls in curved segments, which were used to define and shape external and internal spaces.
“What was so impressive and inspirational was the sense of harmony and balance that came about from having buildings and gardens so interlinked in spirit, so thoughtfully crafted together as one experience.”
This is proof of the consistent quality the de Reus Architects team delivers in their projects: there is always a sense of order to their work and these pavilions are organized around an internal garden. “The clients have remarked many times that this aspect to the design is one of their favorite things about the home,” said de Reus. Thanks to the generous size of the property, they were also able to get ocean views for both the three-bedroom family hale with its own living room, and the two-bedroom guest hale which also had its own small living room. The recreation hale with billiards, TV room, and home theater sits at the back of the garden and has its own shade pavilion.
Another striking thing is the materials used for the home were selected as much for their sensuality as for their durability and longevity. “There is a play of contrasts in materiality throughout the home,” explains de Reus. “The coarse texture of lava stone against the refined and soft sandstone, and the play of the ancient and the modern in detailing stone patterns, to name a few.” Meanwhile, the ceilings and beams are made of cedar wood and are complemented by interior walls, doors, and windows of teak.
What was impressive and inspirational about Mark de Reus’ trip to Kyoto, Japan, becomes apparent in this home: the sense of harmony and balance that came about from having buildings and gardens so interlinked in spirit, so thoughtfully crafted together as one experience.