Search
Close this search box.
Search
Hawaii, beach house, Maui, Hawaii, Olson Kundig, Architect, Tom Kundig, Hawaiian architecture, architecture, cliffside estates, luxury home

Olson Kundig’s Maui Beach Family Retreat

In this region of Maui—the second largest in the Hawaiian Islands—winds can be gentle or fierce, depending on the season. Taking this into account, the Olson Kundig team strategically positioned this 4,500-square-foot home.

By

Share

Hawaiian Spirit: Overlooking Legendary Slaughterhouse Beach, This Olson Kundig-designed Family Retreat Blends With Its Majestic Environment

Built on a rocky bluff above the Pacific Ocean on Maui, the house offers a unique panorama.“The 18-acre site had been neglected and taken over by invasive plant species,” says Olson Kundig Principal/Owner Tom Kundig. “An important goal for the project was to heal the site by returning the majority of the landscape to native plants.”

In addition to the exceptional natural environment, historic surfing huts also inspired Olson Kundig. The three similar and connected buildings that form the house were designed to gently follow the topography.

One of them hosts the living spaces; the second comprises the guest suites; and the third is home to the main sleeping areas. With its pure lines, the architecture of the whole project was meant to create a connection with nature.

Among the main characteristics of the design are the corrugated metal roofs, which reference their traditional Hawaiian counterparts, calling to mind architect Charles William Dickey’s work to popularize this style in the 1920s and 1930s.

These elements, which go beyond the facades and create large terraces, protect dwellers from the sun while maintaining the breeze, providing better natural ventilation and ensuring as little air conditioning as possible.

“Studies of the site revealed virtually constant winds,” Tom Kundig says. “Using the Dickey-style roof as a starting point, the design was turbocharged, deliberately shaping roof forms and openings to allow breezes to pull hot air out.”

The large, floor-to-ceiling glass windows can be completely opened to the ipe wood deck (which almost doubles the home’s livable area), garden and swimming pool, encouraging the enjoyment of spectacular ocean views. The materials are local, durable, low-maintenance and virtually fireproof while also protecting the home from noise.

Throughout all the spaces, wool, steel and rammed earth walls made with soil from the site are mixed. The result is that tranquility and harmony pervade every aspect of this project, where the greatness of the landscape is noticed at every second, and in every corner, becoming the true protagonist of the home, both inside and out.

“I don’t think that I could ever design something as beautiful as what’s already out there,” Tom Kundig says. “We’re here to frame the landscape, to create an experience of that place, and perhaps to bring some of that experience—the intimacy, the vulnerability—inside the house.”

Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig | olsonkundig.com

Photographs Courtesy of Benjamin Benschneider and Simon Watson

RELATED TAGS

A Vivid Coastal Canvas: 1640 Paseo Del Mar

Experience easy coastal living at 1640 Paseo Del Mar in Palos Verdes Estates, where epic ocean views stretch from Point Dume to the Queen’s necklace. This glass-front, 4,300-square-foot home, set on a quarter-acre, boasts unobstructed coastal panoramas due to its unique positioning across from open parkland. With five spacious bedrooms, a private yard, and proximity to shopping, dining, and beaches, this property offers a perfect blend of luxury and lifestyle.
  • July 11, 2024
  • Constance Dunn

Broad Beach Beauty: 31558 Victoria Point, Malibu

Nestled within a gated Malibu community, 31558 Victoria Point epitomizes luxurious beachside living with sweeping ocean vistas. This 4,200 sq ft residence, meticulously redesigned by Busch Design Build, blends indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly. The 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath home features opulent materials like onyx countertops and custom tile flooring, complemented by eco-friendly amenities such as solar panels and a fresh-air system.
  • June 12, 2024
  • Constance Dunn

Rock Formation: OPEN Architecture’s Chapel of Sound

Located in rural Chengde, China, at the base of a valley with ruins of the Great Wall, the almost alien-looking performance venue Chapel of Sound, which hosts concerts in warmer climes and contemplation year-round, is an architectural opus by Beijing-based OPEN Architecture.
  • May 1, 2024
  • Jenn Thornton

Northern Exposure: The Rock by Gort Scott

Fixed to a rocky crag above Alta Lake in the Canadian mountain resort of Whistler, a truly exceptional private house surveys the mountainous landscape from which it is quite literally inseparable.
  • April 17, 2024
  • Jenn Thornton

Neri&Hu Architects: Making Memory

A contemporary take on traditional Chinese courtyard house by Neri&Hu, a typology based on Confucian ideals where different generations live under the same roof, the structure was built for three siblings, with a memorial garden in tribute to their late mother.
  • April 3, 2024
  • Jenn Thornton

Framing Nature with TEN Studio

A patch of land on Avala Mountain in rural Serbia sets the stage for a gridded, steel-frame structure by TEN Studio.
  • February 7, 2024
  • Jenn Thornton
Sign Up for DIGS Newsletters