||The Church of Latter-day
Saints - Kailua, Kona Temple
||Kailua, Kona, Hawaii
||The Church of Latter-day
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
KAILUA - KONA HAWAII TEMPLE
It has stood the test of time! Landscape
Architects, designing living gardens, find it important to evaluate
their projects to observe the growth of the gardens through the years
and if the landscape has served the objectives and purposes for their
clients. Recently in April 2012, the landscape of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints was observed to have grown magnificently. It
was wonderful to witness parishioners walking through the grounds
exclaiming how much they liked the landscape and sharing how they have
taken many photos of the gardens through the years.
A little history about the project: The Temple
was constructed on January 23, 2000 at a prominent location in the
center of Kailua-Kona on the volcanic slopes of Hualālai.
Being one of only two temples in Hawaii, it
was built with care and great significance to represent Hawaii.
At the time it was built, it was the 70th operating Temple in
the world. Today, there are 136 operating temples around the world with
over 14 million members worldwide. The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints was established in Hawaii
The landscape was designed to represent Hawaii
through the planting of Native Hawaiian plants and plants recognized in
the Hawaiian culture. Circulation was essential to provide access around
the entire 10,700 s.f. Temple. The pathway was also a pleasant way to
travel from the parking lot to the Church and administration offices.
But most of all, it was designed to provide pleasant gathering spaces
for parishioners and visitors
to sit, get together, and be part of the Church.
The majestic Royal Palms continue to amaze in
their grandness and greet visitors properly as if they were royalty!
They represent a landscape that connotates its importance in the
community. They were planted to help to mitigate and to support the 219
foot tall white marble Temple. The white trunks of the Royal Palms
perfectly complement the grandeur presence of the Temple.
Beneath the Royal Palms are vibrant, drought tolerant
Temple Fire and Purple Bougainvillea to mark this impressive
entrance. Once in the temple grounds, a pleasant
feeling of peacefulness and tranquility prevails.
A traditional Hawaiian landscape was the key
of this projects design, and this was achieved by planting a variety
of native species, plants used in the Hawaiian culture, and plants often
associated with our tropical paradise. The long functional leaves of the
Hala trees seem to beckon parishioners into the Temple.
The Coconut Palms, synonymous with tropical
Hawaii, are significant palm species utilized throughout the
landscape and proudly frame most views of the Temple. The
swaying Coconut Palms accent the ocean views from
the outlook area, where cruise ships are often seen in the distance.
Some Coconut Palms also seem to rise through the Monkeypod Trees as if
they are stretching to the heavens.
The gold leafed statue of the Angel Maroni
holding a trumpet is located at the top of the spire. It purposely faces
East and beckons visitors to the temple to announce the second coming of
The church, located in Kona (which means
leeward), is on the dry side of the island so shade trees were
important. Monkeypod Trees, with their umbrella- shaped forms, provide
shade from the heat of the parking lot and create the much needed shade
for the grass field, while adding to the serene atmosphere. The
Monkeypod Trees also provide a cooling effect from the glare of the
white marble temple.
The grass fields have profusely grown in like
a green carpet. Adjacent to the grass field, is an old moss rock wall at
the southern property line, where horses graze nearby. Adding vibrancy
throughout, flowering and colorful plants are in their glorious colors.
Temple Fire Bougainvillea, Kaiser Pink Hibiscus, and Parakeet
Heliconia are examples of the colors in the landscape. Native Hawaiian
plants were planted in abundance. The varied shades of the green color
of the Hapuu Tree Ferns planted in the approaching gardens warmly
greet visitors to the front Temple doors and are a nice color contrast
from the white of the Temple. Native White Hibiscus shrubs were planted
adjacent to the iron fencing, reminiscent of the historical fences
around the Iolani Palace on Oahu. Colorful fragrant flowering
Plumeria Trees, Gingers and Gardenias are abundant and green Ti Leaf
plants were planted for luck.
A gathering space was designed to allow
parishioners to contemplate and enjoy the beauty of the landscape which
complements the white of the Temple marble walls. Benches with plant
relief designed sides are located throughout the landscape and built-in
seat wall planters located in the plaza courtyard garden allow
parishioners and visitors a chance to rest and enjoy the splendor of the
Temple grounds. The gardens can also be experienced at night. Period
designed light poles are located along pathways to create an ethereal
atmosphere in the evening.
Many weddings take place on the Church
grounds. In fact, one of the first weddings performed was on March 15,
2000 when NFL Hall of Famer, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve
Young and Barbara Graham were married.
The feeling of peace and tranquility are often
associated with the Temple and the landscape is one of the main elements
in evoking these moods. It sets the tone and image for a place of
worship and a time for reflection.
As parishioners and visitors stroll through The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints property,
their pace slows down as they begin to absorb the beauty of the
landscape and all that the blessed grounds have to offer.
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints was recognized by Scenic
Hawaii for a Betty Crocker Landscape Award of Excellence in 2012.