Hawaii house designed as a mini village by De Reus Architects

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Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

Hawaii house designed as a mini village by De Reus Architects

A series of steep-roofed pavilions linked by gardens and external corridors make up this home by De Reus Architects on Hawaii's Big Island.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

The studio designed Kauhale Kai for a client who is fond of modern art and architecture, and spent years living in Tahiti, and their extended family.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

The sprawling house is located on the island's northern Kohala Coast, overlooking Kaunaoa Bay, and is based on the area's thatched-hut village settlements known as kauhale.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

"[This] interpretation of the traditional, close-knit, Hawaiian kauhale settlement is an elevated version of the island's laid-back style, driven by restraint and understatement while designed for tropical liveability," said De Reus Architects, which has offices in Waimea and Honolulu, Hawaii, and Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

A series of seven pavilions, all with steep hipped roofs, are organised along axes that spread from a large swimming pool in the centre of the site.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

Designed in what the architects describe as a "modern tropical" style, these pavilions, or hales, together total 6,700 square feet (620 square metres) of living space.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

They are linked by a series of external routes, planted or walled on the sides to form corridors exposed to the elements.

"These transitional spaces add a gracious quality to the home and provide a unifying synergy between the hale structures, tropical plantings, large-scale stone exterior elements and the site's coastal views," De Reus Archiects said.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

Like the small huts they are based on, each pavilion accommodates a different function. Some, like living and dining areas, have their sides open to the sea breezes. Others that house sleeping quarters are protected by floor-to-ceiling glass wrapped around their limestone columns.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

Satisfying the client's affinity for Polynesia, a stacked-stone water features sits at the main entrance and a series of monoliths are dotted between the buildings.

Interiors, by Californian firm Saint Dizier Design, feature wooden columns, panelling and ceilings, with pops of colour provided by artwork and upholstery. Outdoor furnishings are kept minimal so as not to distract from the palm-fringed ocean views.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

"Finding modernity, within this coastal community's strict traditional design guidelines, was a point of emphasis," said De Reus Archiects.

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

"The design team's efforts from the onset were to craft a modern sense of restraint, inspired by cultural cues from the Malayo-Polynesian cultures that had profoundly influenced the client's artistic tastes for decades."

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects

Hawaii's dramatic volcanic landscape and white sand beaches are a draw for both holiday makers and those relocating permanently, who have built houses on the largest island in the US state's chain that range from tiny wooden retreats to impressive concrete villas.

More images and plans

Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Site plan
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects
Kauhale Kai by de Reus Architects