A dream house
nestled on the slopes of Diamond Head! The home was originally
designed by famed island architect, Vladimir Ossipoff, as a group of
bungalows on this one acre property in the 1960’s. John Hara
connected the bungalows in 1978. Architect Paul Noborikawa is the
current Architect involved in the design of this residence. The most
notable aspect of the house is its garden like feeling of openness,
and from the interior of the house, the Clients can see both the
Diamond Head side of the Garden and by just a turn, they can see the
Ewa side of the Garden. It is almost like living in a tree house in
a garden. With the Clients allowing me the privilege of designing
their exterior spaces, I was able to create a landscape for their
Kamaaina-style home that fit their needs and lifestyle; that of an
indoor-outdoor living space in a tropical paradise. By integrating
the landscape with local artists’ sculptures, this well used
landscaped garden was transformed into a garden of art.
landscape did not do justice to this beautiful house. The backyard
was a barren flat plain of brown grass with unkempt Olive Trees.
The front yard lacked intimate and interesting spaces and was unsafe
and in need of repair to the paving that was buckling and cracked.
views of Diamond Head and views of Waikiki, the Clients wanted an
outdoor living space that matched their active lifestyle on the Ewa
side of their home and a peaceful, tranquil setting on the Diamond
plain of brown grass was transformed into a lush green rolling lawn
area. Soil was added to create mounds for the newly planted fruit
garden area with a beautiful branched Lychee, Meyer Lemon and
Tangerine Trees and tropical flowering plants such as Hanging
Heliconias, Gardenias and Gingers. Native Hawaiian and drought
tolerant plants, such as ‘Akia, were planted. A space was created
for “The Seed”, a sculpture by renowned local artist, Satoru Abe.
It seemed perfectly placed as the wind swept feeling of the Olive
Trees beyond, and Diamond Head looming from the distance as the sun
awaits visitors upon entering the gated entrance. Surrounded by
Areca Palms they are greeted by the sweet
Gardenias, Gingers and Orchids as they walk on large concrete steps
with ‘Golden Ray’ quartize square patterned stones with Dwarf Mondo
Grass between them. A bronze Bird sculpture peaks out of the
Bromeliads. The original pathway was narrowed to create a more
intimate entrance, whereby the first view of this grand residence is
a Sean Browne granite sculpture.
The soft sound
of water trickling over the edge of the granite stone that was
especially built in Japan, is a soothing sound.
92 year old mother often visits so pathways were designed for easy
access. Circulation was important to provide a flow throughout
this large space. A meandering grass area was created to connect
the grand stair to the Mauka end of the residence. An important
element to create this flow, was the design and construction of a
serpentine seat wall. The seat wall created interesting spaces for
the pool deck and the wide width of the limestone cap made it
possible for ease in sunbathing.
were also constructed to soften the tall bright white wall and to
help to create a pleasant view from the art studio.
sensitivity of the “Tree Hugger” Clients to keep all of their
existing trees was admirable. To be environmentally responsible,
existing canopy trees and new shade trees were planted to provide a
cooling effect and to help to reduce glare from paved surfaces.
Working with the Civil Engineer, care was taken to follow natural
drainage patterns to drain water away from the house. Care was
taken to conserve energy by planting xeriscape and Native Hawaiian
plants. A new irrigation system was added for low maintenance. An
automatic irrigation clock and a rain gauge were added to help
regulate the water flow and reduce water usage.
and their guests enjoy the ease with which they can use the edible
plant materials. Planted adjacent to the pool bar kitchen and BBQ
area are a group of Citrus Trees and just off of the front entrance
and kitchen is home of the herb garden.
perfect locations to pick the freshest ingredients to enhance their
Your eyes can
not help but be drawn to the colorful cylinders of the Rick Mills
glass sculpture at the end of the heated salt water swimming pool.
This water feature was designed so that water flows up from the
seven cylinders and cascades down tubes that create a ring of
bubbles below each cylinder into a glass mosaic pool.
It has always
been important for me to support and showcase the local artists’
talents in Hawai’i, and one way of doing this is by adding art as
part of the landscape whenever I can. With enthusiastic Clients, I
was given the opportunity to work with four artists to design spaces
especially for their works of arts.
all of the spectacular trees helped to create a soft resort feeling
to the landscape. Tiki Torches were placed throughout to provide a
nice glow at night.
private residence, the public has had a glimpse of this picturesque
setting on the TV show “LOST”, which was filmed there twice.
Weddings have taken place there and photos were taken of them
strolling through the Olive Tree grove.
The success of
this tropical landscape was the many enjoyable times it has created
for the Clients. In fact, The Kahala Mandarin Hotel’s
representative visited the Clients to ask if they could rent it.
The true fact of the comfort and grand use of the exterior spaces is
that many of their visitors throughout the year spend much of their
vacation there. I often explain that there are many other places in
Hawai’i they can visit but their response is that they are perfectly
happy poolside at this fine Diamond Head Residence.
Whitcomb Residence was recognized by Scenic Hawaii for a Betty
Crocker Landscape Award of Honor in 2004.
Whitcomb Residence was also recognized by BIA Hawaii (Building
Industry Association) 21st Annual BIA Renaissance
Building and Remodeling Awards, Grand Award in 2006.
Whitcomb Residence was the site of the filming of the first season
of LOST, as seen on January 12, 2005 and filming of the
second season of LOST staring Sawyer, on August 15th
and 16th, 2005.