Kua Bay Residence, Hawaii. Walker Warner Architects.
“Kua Bay embraces the spirit of Mauka-Makai, which is defined as the symbolic flow of lava from mountain to sea. On approach, the residence slowly reveals itself, designed to be hidden within the dark lava formations that create the dramatic backdrop for this family retreat. Continuing inside, expansive views open toward the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean beyond.
The house unfolds as a series of curated experiences. To reduce visual impact and offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, the guest hale and garage are embedded into the rugged landscape, almost disappearing under a living roof. Upon entering the suite, guests are immediately drawn to an attached lava-rock grotto—a sophisticated and moody outdoor space to admire the beauty of the natural lava and bathe in privacy.
The main residence is an L-shaped building, with bedrooms arrayed along one bar, and gathering spaces and the primary bedroom suite along the other. The great room opens on both sides via full-height sliding glass doors that pocket into the walls. The volume is as an extension of the surrounding landscape, serving as an indoor-outdoor pavilion that houses the kitchen, dining area, and living area.
Further blurring the line between inside and outside is a courtyard formed by the arrangement of the guest hale and main residence. On one side of the courtyard is a series of reflecting pools, which is paralleled by a cluster of trees and a sprawling lawn on the other. Alaskan yellow cedar lines the exterior pathway eaves, while the facade is clad in horizontal bands of basalt to echo the layered lava bed.
Furnishings are casual, favoring lightly colored sofas and chairs that act as a counterpoint to the dark lava and basalt. An ocean-facing lanai descends from the pavilion to an infinity-edge pool and outdoor gathering area furnished in the same color palette. These spaces step down from the house strategically, ensuring views from the pavilion are unobstructed and the neighboring islands can always be seen on the horizon.”
Photo credit: Douglas Friedman, Marion Brenner, Laure Joliet