National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific: Columbarium Expansion and Cemetery Improvements
Honolulu, Hawaii • Completed 2018
*Work completed at Ki Concepts.
Located in Honolulu, on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is unique among the nation’s cemeteries. The cemetery is located within Pūowaina, an extinct volcanic crater that holds significant cultural importance to the people of Hawai’i. This major project for the National Cemetery Administration involved the demolition of the existing WWII era admin building and provided a new columbarium court, memorial walls, and a new Public Information Center and Administration Building.
While with Ki Concepts, Brian Stuhr served as landscape designer and assistant project manager from the proposal and site analysis phases of the project through the design and documentation phase. Ki Concepts was the prime consultant, leading the design effort and overseeing the architecture, planning, and engineering of this major cemetery improvement project. Working closely with principals Joel Kurokawa and Brad Kurokawa, Brian ensured smooth collaboration with RHAA, Architects Hawaii, and a team of more than a dozen sub-consultants to realize this complex project. The design team emphasized and embodied an attitude of respect for the land.
Rainwater is captured by the new plaza and directed through dramatic arrangements of regional basalt columns into stormwater planters.
The new visitor center was designed to be a low, linear building that was embedded into the hillside on the outside of the crater. Extensive native plant revegetation and stormwater management facilities surround the facility, creating a sense that the new structure was trying to be invisible. The experience from within the building is powerful, offering panoramic views of Honolulu from the mountains to the sea.