Nature Conservancy - Eight Inc.

Nature Conservancy.
Changing education.

Respect to the surroundings, to the users, to the planet.

When we were picked from 236 submissions to build the Malama Learning Center in Hawaii, we set out to create the most respectful building ever made – a building that wasn’t just perfectly integrated into its environment and community, but that would serve as a role model for future sustainable architecture.

Malama Learning Center

An educational institution, an art center, an outdoor-indoor theater, a native plant nursery, a dance studio, a community center.

The requirements were many, but our focus was simple: to find a sustainable solution that respectfully integrated into the existing environment. So we created a structure sensitive to the needs of its users and its surroundings, built with materials from renewable local sources, and designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

The spatial organization is a dialogue between a central axis leading to the amphitheater and areas containing the elements of the Center’s program. Along the axis are indoor and outdoor classrooms, landscaped spaces, and entrance lobbies to the principal building structures. When completed the Center will advance conservation and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii, while setting a new benchmark for sustainable architecture.

This project won an AIA design award and Best Future Education project at 2009 World Architecture Festival.