First Hawaiian Center

Honolulu, HI, USA First Hawaiian Bank Luersen Lowrey Tsushima, Associate Architect Corporate, Interiors 600,000 ft2 / 55,715 m2

Hawaii is memorable for its landscape: the dramatic confrontation between the mountains and the sea is profound. The tension in this dynamic landscape of juxtapositions inspired a unique architectural language for a Honolulu skyscraper.

The tower is composed of two distinct forms, one which faces the sea and the other which faces the mountains, linked to the ground by a low podium containing a museum and a banking hall. This podium engages the tower with the urban context and shapes a series of gardens along the surrounding streets.

The building’s fenestration codifies each of its major parts: horizontally louvered windows frame views of the sea and the horizon; vertically proportioned openings face the mountains; and the podium is dominated by a great wall of prismatic-glass louvers. These louvers fracture the light passing through them into a dazzling spectral brilliance. This kaleidoscopic display of natural light continually transforms the interior of the museum and the banking hall.

Image 1 / 8 | © Timothy Hursley