Hagy Belzberg of Santa Monica is True to Form

Experience the pleasure of living in paradise through this rapturous example of Hawaii architecture—enjoy the view

The fact that this 8,000-square-foot residence set between cooled lava flows in Kona, Hawaii was completed in 2010 but looks as every bit as forward today as it likely will years from now, is a testament to its principal architect, Hagy Belzberg, of Santa Monica-based firm Belzberg Architects—a home both of and ahead of its time.

The entry pavilion echoes a traditional basket weave

Though easy to take the home’s measurement in the honors it has collected, including “Best of the Year Award” from Interior Design Magazine, more is required. This is architecture best appreciated as a broadly thought response to site and surround. Consider the contrast of natural elements, geometric hardscape and views of both volcanic mountains and ocean horizons.

The Kona residence is orientated in relation to the site’s primary views

The environmental sensitivities: a system for rain water collection, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to offset residential energy use, dark lava stone to help heat the pool via solar radiation. And finally the historical references of reclaimed teak timber from old barns and train tracks and cut lava rock used for the exterior, and the inspired basket weave of the entry pavilion, meant to reenact the traditional gift upon arrival ceremony.

Openness to the outdoors is a property signature

But this is not a historical home, its contemporary in program and approach. So forward in both, any description of architectural abstractions is an abridgment at best. To experience the home is to understand it.


Written by Jenn Thornton
Photographs: courtesy of Benny Chan/Fotoworks

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