With every new project, WCIT ARCHITECTURE approaches design individually as we seek to explore each project’s unique opportunities and possibilities. Research is an important first step in this process. A thorough investigation in the past and present conditions (yesterday and today) will provide the basis for which we will begin to formulate our master plan and design proposals (tomorrow).
Storytelling is an integral aspect of our design approach. Through the environments we create, built or in landscapes, we strive to achieve an inspired, coherent plan that subtly yet effectively conveys the story of the place, its people and their culture. Our design approach to this effort will look to discover an uniquely appropriate solution that combines a proper and dutiful respect of its setting, explores necessary historical and cultural inspirations, incorporates indigenous and global sustainable strategies in meaningful and interactive ways, and has community at its core through the creation of a series of vibrant spaces and places for activity and interaction.
Mo‘okū‘auhau, a lineage of generations of knowledge, is the first stage. In this preliminary research phase we collected information about the people & the places associated with the project. The information was organized into three categories: yesterday, today & tomorrow.
Mo‘olelo, a lineage of generations of stories, is the second phase. During this phase we actively sought out knowledge from knowledge leaders and project stakeholders. We solicited the stories of the people and the places to create a collective vision.
Mo‘oka‘i, a lineage of generations of journeys, is the third phase. With the work completed in the first two phases, the physical planning efforts could begin. While planning work commenced, we continued to work with the stakeholders to refine the cultural genealogy, themes and narratives.
Mo‘owaiwai, a lineage of generations of valued practices, the final phase. Due to the methodology employed in this planning process this phase continues to realize the valued practices of the project as stewards of the ‘āina for generations to come.
August 1881, a small, short-lived eruption at Mauna Loa’s summit heralded the beginning of an eruptive sequence that was to be followed six months later by the voluminous flank eruption which would soon threaten the then-small town of Hilo. The people asked Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani to intercede. The Hawaiian-language newspaper Ko Hawai‘i Pae Aina published a letter with the heading “Ka Pele ai Honua ma Hilo” (Pele, devourer of land at Hilo) that describes the immediate danger, “Hapalua Mile ka Mamao mai ke Koana aku” (the distance from town being only one half mile.) Keʻelikōlani offered traditional oli (chants) and hoʻokupu (tribute) to Pele and later reportedly camped at the foot of the flow. She approached the flow somewhere within what is now the Alenaio gulch, chanted and made her offering, to stop the flow and save Hilo town from burning. The flow stopped.