Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center

ROLE: Architect
CLIENT: Waianae District Comprehensive Health and Hospital Board

Over 40 years ago, the “Kupuna Council” (Elder) of the Wai`anae community recognized a need for healthcare services within the community. Over the years, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) has grown from being more than just a place where one comes to see the local doctor. Today, this building project represents the vision of the Kupuna and the community. Through the guidance of WCCHC’s leadership, the design incorporates native Hawaiian healing, cultural education, practices, and traditions through native healers working in conjunction with other healthcare providers to honor the community’s traditions. This building represents the vision of the Kupuna and the community. The community has responded by taking ownership and pride in their community healthcare center.

The building materials, details, and artwork subtly reflect various local themes. Glass partitions with integrated wave patterns represent the water that integrates with the land (`aina) represented by the dark wood floors. The purple color of the Popolo berry is the basis of the theme in Pharmacy. The Popolo berry is used within the native Hawaiian community for its medicinal value much like the medication developed in the Pharmacy. The sloping roofs were designed twofold – reducing the massing from the highway and following the slope of the land that respects the pu`u (peak) on which the building is located. Finally and more importantly, illustrating how the building connects the mountain and ocean, the sloping roofs and the large glass walls allow the outside in were based upon the Kupuna Council’s request to show how the native Hawaiian community looks to the ocean and the land (moana ame aina) for its healing remedies.