Located on a national historic landmark site on Oahu’s Ford Island, NOAA’s Inouye Regional Center features the adaptive reuse of two World War II-era airplane hangars linked by a new steel and glass building. The original hangars, designed in 1939 by Albert Kahn, inspired beautifully simple solutions for how the new Center uses air, water and light.
The new complex accommodates 715 people in a high-performance research and office campus that integrates NOAA’s mission of “science, service and stewardship” with regional culture and ecology. It houses a diverse range of critical programs, functions and federal departments, including the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The design uses clear, simple forms and materials carefully selected to complement the scale and framework of the existing hangar buildings while providing a state-of-the-art Pacific Region headquarters for NOAA.
The LEED Gold facility, which earned an AIA COTE Award for sustainable design excellence, has a skylight diffuser system that virtually eliminates the need for artificial light during the day. Hawaii’s first hydronic passive cooling unit (PCU) system uses water pulled from below the sea bed and natural ventilation to condition the space. A graywater capturing system helps irrigate the native landscaping.
HOK worked with Hawaii-based architect Ferraro Choi.