I had the opportunity to photograph the campus at The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, capturing several examples of Tropical Modernism – reinvented open spaces with natural ventilation, responding to the climate and environment.
Between the 1940’s and 1960’s, the university expanded with support from the G.I. Bill and Hawaii’s new governor at the time. An impressive selection of architects were commissioned to design the fifteen buildings, including I. M. Pei, Philip Fisk, Allen Johnson, Thomas Perkins and Alfred Preiss. Mark Potter, Architects Hawaii Ltd (AHL), Associated Architects with Vladimir Ossipoff, Robert Matsushita, Edward Durell Stone, John H. McAuliffe, Jr., Clifford Young, Edwin Mamoru Tani, and Takashi Anbe & George K. C. Lee, as well as Ossipoff, Snyder, Roland and Goetz.
With this style of Tropical Modernism architecture, the landscape plays a significant roll. In Bachman Hall, the square columns are in contrast to the coconut palm trees, a landscape partnership of Thompson and Thompson. In the Hale Mānoa, students can choose to face “mauka”, the mountains, or “makai”, the ocean. Probably the best example of Tropical Modernism architecture here is Snyder Hall, with operable metal louvers across the exterior, intersecting with vertical concrete columns and metal rails.
My photography of this unique architecture was on exhibit at the Haigo & Irene Shen Architecture Gallery. If you would like to learn more, or see additional photos, you may view the full collection here : https://uhsoashengallery.com/Tropical-Modernism