Architectural Record Features HOK’s Sustainable, Adaptive Reuse Design for NOAA Inouye Regional Center
Historic hangars at Pearl Harbor have been renovated and expanded as offices and labs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“The albizia saman tree—with its natural gift for self-cooling—was one of HOK’s design inspirations for the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center, the new home for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Hawaii.”
“With NOAA’s mission spanning from oceans to skies, its Ford Island facility needed to bring together diverse entities—from the National Weather Service Pacific Region Headquarters and Tsunami Warning Center to national centers for environmental satellites and data, marine fisheries and sanctuaries, oceanic and atmospheric research, and others. ‘But NOAA’s complexity was just part of the story,’ says HOK design principal Paul Woolford. ‘We also needed to address the historic site and its existing structures.’”
“The twin hangars that now anchor the Inouye Center narrowly escaped devastation as planes on the tarmac were hit and, nearby, the USS Utah was sunk. The hangars, designed by Detroit-based Albert Kahn, were completed just months before the attack and remained intact.”
“Accommodating 800 employees, HOK’s scheme links the historic hangars with a central entry structure, echoing the industrial aesthetic and rectilinear rhythms of the original buildings while distinguishing old from new. Now themes of ocean and air draw you into the 300,000-square-foot building through the new recessed entry bay, with views straight to the water behind, where NOAA’s research vessels are moored.”
“Critical to NOAA’s mission is sustainability, and the center—on track for LEED Gold—is particularly innovative in its cooling system. Evoking the albizia samans, it draws on passive means to self-modulate temperature, humidity, and ventilation.”