Hale Napo’o, a stunning beachfront retreat in Hanalei, Hawaii, epitomizes the best of contemporary design by Olson Kundig.

Set on Kauai’s picturesque north coast, this 2020 masterpiece seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor spaces, offering families the perfect blend of expansive ocean views and intimate settings. The design, influenced by Hawaii’s iconic Dickey-style hip roofs, balances modern aesthetics with a touch of local heritage, ensuring a lifestyle where bare feet and ocean breezes are daily norms.

About Hale Napo’o

The Seamless Fusion of Indoors and Outdoors

Nestled on Kauai’s north coast, Hale Napo’o masterfully merges indoor and outdoor living. Eager for a home that embraced the surrounding landscape, the clients envisioned a dwelling that accentuated the breathtaking vistas and refreshing breezes of Hanalei Bay. The outcome? A versatile island retreat catering to a laid-back lifestyle, yet flexible for gatherings of any size.

Modern Meets Traditional in Hawaiian Architecture

Drawing inspiration from Hawaii’s classic Dickey-style hip roofs, Hale Napo’o’s corrugated copper roofline adds a contemporary twist. Perpendicular intersections cleverly fragment the building’s bulk, enveloping an interior courtyard. Without air conditioning, the house depends on beach winds. It achieves this through operable shutter screens encompassing much of the façade. This unique cedar shutter system within a steel frame allows flexibility: opening for views and breezes or sealing off against inclement conditions and for security during absences. Japanese birch panels and wood floors throughout amplify the home’s harmonious relationship with nature and balance the vibrantly colored furniture.

Intimate Spaces and Functional Designs

At the entrance, a shuttered gateway introduces an airy corridor flanked by two-story pivoting louvers, revealing a semi-enclosed courtyard. Adjacently, a library boasts a piece from Brian Rutenberg, a cherished artist and family friend. A nearby guest suite, equipped with sliding shutters, extends the courtyard views through the house to the infinite ocean. The garage, doubling as an equipment storage space, conveniently features an exterior shower.

Breathtaking Views and Versatile Living

A striking blue door unveils the home’s western section, showcasing an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area. Here, the vastness of Hanalei Bay and the peaks of Hihimanu, Namolokama, and Mamalahoa come into full view. Vertical shutters and extending wooden floors blur the demarcation between inside and outside, leading to an external lanai that hovers delicately over the terrain. Above, an outdoor lounge offers an additional mingling spot, crowned with a cantilevered deck shading the lanai below. A communal bunk room, adaptable as the kids grow, lies nearby. Lastly, the primary suite, accessible via an elevated outdoor pathway, offers a secluded haven with unparalleled bay views.

Photography by Aaron Leitz

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