Hale Lana is a 17,200-square-foot (1,598-square-metre) house designed for a couple who wanted ample space to host large gatherings on Hawaii's Big Island.
Its name translates to "floating home" as each structure is lifted slightly above the lava bed – a plain of flat lava flows. Piles of the red and black rocks are situated around the grassy property and form a cascading hill at its edge.
"The intention was for the home to feel like a canopy on the Hawaiian landscape, transparent between inside and outside," said Olson Kundig design principal Tom Kundig.
Glass walls and open walkways face the lush greenery and monolithic rock walls that enclose the property.
Corrugated metal covers the house's double-pitched roofs, which are modelled after traditional homes on the island. The expansive covering spans across each unit to cantilever over the wood decking edging each structure.
"Hale Lana's roof picks up on the local Hawaiian vernacular, where large canopy roofs gather prevailing trade wind breezes and keep them moving through the building,"Kundig added.
"However, this project takes that idea to a new level structurally with a very long cantilever and an extremely precise leading roof edge."
Each of the five wood volumes is fronted with sliding glass doors that open onto the covered terraces wrapped around each of the units.
A series of adjustable wood shutter screens attach to a track installed in each building to allow for control over changing environmental conditions, such as sun exposure and wind direction.
The largest structure is encased with sliding glass doors houses the kitchen, main living area and several bedrooms. A covered lanais, or veranda, connects it to the other four buildings: a master suite, guest suite, utility space and cabana.
Inside, the ceilings are clad with wood planks seamlessly continued from the underside of the roof canopy.
A full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a black bar counter and seating furnish the cabana, which faces a long swimming pool situated in the backyard.
Wood benches, outdoor dining tables and couches are arranged on the deck spaces between the connecting units.
Since Olson Kundig was founded in 1966 by architect Jim Olson the practice has completed a number of projects, including a residence nestled into the Brazilian rainforest and a large house in Los Angeles overlooking West Hollywood's Sunset Strip.
Walker Warner Architects has also designed a house in Hawaii that comprises several structures and designer Will Beilharz also constructed a tiny wood guest house on a lava field on Big Island.
Photography is by Nic Lehoux.
Design principal: Tom Kundig
Project manager: Todd Matthes
Project architect: Katherine Ranieri
Architectural staff: Gregory Nakata
Interior design: Debbie Kennedy
Interior design staff: Amanda Chenoweth, Kathy Hanway, Maresa Patterson and Crisanna Siegert
General contractor: Dowbuilt
Civil engineer: Kona Wai Engineering
Structural engineer: MCE Structural Consultants
Mechanical and electrical engineer: WSP
Landscape architect: David Y. Tamura Associates
Lighting design: Niteo Lighting
Pool consultant: Kai Pono Builders
Steel and timber fabrication consultant: Spearhead Inc.