Mālama Kumulā`au

Here at Ki, we have a special place in our hearts for trees. They serve several design functions that directly benefit people. Some functions include providing shade, screening undesirable views, serving as wind breaks, and having significant aesthetic value. One of the most common occurrences trees are hurt is during construction. Damage may kill trees outright or lead to their slow demise. That’s why on our projects we try to protect our friends by establishing clear and generous tree protection zones or TPZs. Follow the link for more “Key Concepts” for Tree-Friendly Design.


Project in construction phase:  The University of Hawaii, Culinary Institute of the Pacific

Biki – Honolulu’s Bike

Bike share is finally coming to Honolulu. Last week the nonprofit Bikeshare Hawaii officially introduced ‘Biki’ as Honolulu’s new bikeshare program. This summer expect 1000 bikes and 100 ‘Biki Stops’ to be implemented across town from Diamond Head to Chinatown. Bikeshare Hawaii partnered with PBSC Urban Solutions, who has the largest bikeshare fleet in the world, outside of China, to make Honolulu the first city with their newest generation of bikeshare bikes.

The 2017 “Fit” Bike

You might not consider Honolulu to be the most bicycle-friendly city, however there are efforts being made to make it more so.  At the City & County of Honolulu Dept. of Transportation Services’ Community Symposium and Complete Streets Expo last week, the Mayor reiterated his commitment to making Honolulu more bicycle-friendly. He reminded the attendees, one of the unique things about living in Hawaii is our opportunity to connect with nature. When you are in a metal box during your commute, you are disconnected. But when you are riding, you can feel the sun, smell the breeze, and interact with your environment. Biki will help bring the critical mass of cyclists needed to our streets, and with them, the demand for better lanes and paths. Providing various price points, Biki provides a flexible entry for riders of all types. Whether you’re local or malihini, you’ll have the option to easily rent a bike to commute to work, run a quick errand, or just jaunt about town with friends. Transit is an ecosystem and having another viable mode of travel can only contribute to a healthy and diverse transportation network.

Biki Stops- 808ne.ws/2mgUN9Z

From Boston’s Hubway Bikes to New York City’s Citibike and the Bay Area Bike Share, bike share has gained momentum across the county. Surprisingly, Honolulu is one of the last major cities in the United States to get their own bike share program.  Bike share programs literally change the urban framework of the city they are incorporated. This is one of the prime reasons we’re excited for Biki to come to town. The bikes themselves become ubiquitous to the city. And the ‘biki stops’ become opportunities for design and landscape architecture. When speaking to a Bikeshare Hawaii representative, we casually bounced around ideas surrounding the biki stops regarding social interaction, community engagement, and economic development. Maybe we’ll see a Ki x Biki collaboration someday? Stay tuned and keep up to date with Biki at http://www.bikesharehawaii.org/.

Enjoy the ride, Honolulu.

The City & County of Honolulu Dept. of Transportation Services’ Community Symposium and Complete Streets Expo

Kahala Complex- Tail Lot Design Complete

Construction @ the Kahala House continues to make progress. Meanwhile, our client was fortunate to acquire an empty lot adjacent to their property which will allow a connection to Kahala Ave. While the original design for the 3 houses was already complete, this new tail lot added almost 1/2  an acre to the site, giving us much more room to play.  

Using topography, planting, and the curvature of the drive, we designed a valley feel as you move, creating drama as you approach the main house.  Fruit trees and kalo are scattered within, calling out to the productive interior of the valley.  Pops of color along the contours emphasize the landscape topography. Above is a generous monkeypod/rainbow shower canopy.

One of the areas where private residential shines is in the fine details. The driveway itself is composed of reclaimed cobblestones from Europe. We designed the pattern to motivate forward momentum, like a river in the middle of the valley.

More to come- !!




Aloha to Christian Simafranca, Ki Intern, 2015. Best wishes on the next step of your journey!

Working at Ki Concepts has been an amazing experience for me. Everyone is so helpful and nurturing. They took time to teach me new skills and mentor me as an emerging professional. Here at Ki Concepts I had the opportunity to observe the majority of the design process from concept design to delivery of final drawings. I got to work on a range of projects and even got to work on a design build project.  It was always a great educational opportunity assist my mentors in their daily tasks and help out in all the things I could get my hands on. I was able to learn how important collaboration is in the practice of providing design services. Similarly I learned how important coordination is to ensure that the right information gets to the right individual in a desired format. Coming from an architecture background, as a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, my perspective was broadened working in a landscape architecture firm. I was thrilled to see some of the other considerations that are made in regards to the overall design aside from the building itself. It is amazing to see when a great landscape design complements a great building. Lastly, Ki Concepts has been supportive of my growth and education in the IDP process and it has been my great pleasure to have been a part of the Ki Concepts team. In the spring of 2016 I will be continuing to further my education through a practicum program abroad in Los Angeles. The experience ahead will be another exciting milestone in my long-term pursuit to finish my D. Arch degree and become a licensed architect. I will forever remember and value my experience here at Ki Concepts as I enthusiastically continue to move forward.