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To use design to help our clients succeed.

We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

We inspire people through our work by expressing timeless cultural, organizational and personal values.

We connect people and place with ideas that come from many minds and imaginations.

We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

We are a global architecture, design, engineering and planning firm.

Celebrating 60 Years of Design + Innovation

Transforming Historic Pearl Harbor Hangars into a Modern Marine Research Facility

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA

“This will be a place that joins science, service and stewardship across the ocean, atmosphere and people of this region.”

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

This project renovated and adapted two World War II-era airplane hangars and added a new building between them to house 700 NOAA personnel on a national historic landmark site on Oahu’s Ford Island.

The site is a federally owned property within the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex, which is recognized as one of the country’s most sacred historic sites.

HOK’s design links the two hangars to provide space for NOAA research and office functions. The team worked closely with local preservationists to keep the hangars close to their original condition.

A long, open, three-story atrium houses public function spaces such as the library, dining and fitness areas, and an auditorium. In each of the hangar structures, courtyards open up from the roof all the way down to the ground level. These areas serve as gathering spaces and draw in natural light.

The high-performance, sustainable design is rooted in the mission of NOAA, biomimicry and the cultural traditions of the Pacific region. The LEED Gold sustainable design features include a skylight diffuser system that virtually eliminates the need for artificial light during the day. Hawaii’s first Passive Cooling Unit (PCU) system uses chilled water from a nearby building and natural ventilation to condition the space through an underground air distribution system. A gray water capturing system is used to irrigate the native landscaping.

HOK worked with Hawaii-based architect Ferraro Choi.


LEED Gold anticipated


350,000 sq. ft. / 32,515 sq. m.


Facility Programming
Interior Design
Laboratory Planning
Master Planning


AIA California Council – Merit Award, Interior Architecture

AIA San Francisco – Merit Award

IIDA Northern California Chapter – Merit Award  

ENR California – Best Projects 2014 – Award of Merit


Decrease in energy use compared to a conventional design


25 March 2015
“NOAA Regional Center Wins IIDA Merit Award”
HOK News

5 January 2015
“ENR California Honors HOK-Designed NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center”
HOK News

27 March 2014
“The Green Room: Sustainable Design in Eight Market Segments”
Interior Design 

9 January 2014
“How Reverse Engineering Can Spur Design Innovation”
Fast Co.Exist

19 December 2013
“NOAA IRC Dedication at Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam, Hawaii”
US Navy News 

17 December 2013
“NOAA Dedicates Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu”
US Department of Commerce 

14 December 2013
“NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center Photo Gallery”
Honolulu Star-Advertiser