Dana Anne Yee, Landscape Architect, LLC.


Project Name:Hawaiʻi Film Studio Phase II
Location:Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Client:Department of Accounting and General Service, State of Hawaiʻi

The Design Intent was to create a garden setting for the new film studio, currently the ninth season of the Hawaii 5-0 team, to relax, have lunch, and enjoy being outside. This was the site of the original Hawaii 5-0 Studio from 1968. The gardens are filled with native Hawaiian plants, such as the prominent native Hawaiian ʻOhia trees with flowers in red and yellow colors to enhance the garden activities in this area.

Located in the Diamond Head Special Design District adhering to strict permitting guidelines were met. The addition of one relocated Fiji Fan Palm, helped to continue the line of Palms thus helping to screen the parking lot from the road. The addition of perfect apple green leaves of 14 native ‘A‘ali‘i shrubs served as a required screen of the parking lot.

The landscape was important in connecting the modular buildings, to provide an outdoor indoor connection, and as a relaxing, peaceful, and creative place. With a limited budget, the existing moss rock boulders were placed in the landscape and mounds of soil were molded to create the dramatic flowing spaces for the new native Hawaiian plant material. A sustainable effort was made to reuse the plants and materials on site.

The premise to bring back agriculture and tend to your own garden to our urban landscape was key. Two Orange trees, one Lemon tree, and one Lime tree were planted to the joy of the studio workers. The landscape created a place that the studio workers could relax and hang out between projects. And to the joy of the studio workers, the fruit trees area bountifully providing fruit for their enjoyment. The desire for the studio workers to garden was achieved.

Care was taken to provide different centers of energy, which was noticeable through the courtyard, from the edible fruit garden, to the fragrant flowering trees and plants, to the colorful accents of color, to the many native Hawaiian and Cultural Plants. Care was taken to enhance views from the windows through the trees in the gardens creating a cooling effect for this hot Diamond Head area. We brought nature and the Agriculture Trend to the studio’s own front door.

What made the garden so special was the life that it brought to the Film Studio. Creating a setting for creative people to be inspired and bringing in a little learning about our native Hawaiian plants may help to influence the studio people in their filming.