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Molokai Education Center

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2001, Kauahikaua and Chun. 375 Kamehameha V Hwy.

The green, metal-clad walls of Molokai Education Center present an industrial face to the street, while the building's mauka (mountain-facing) elevation reveals a pavilion plan with steep roofs sheltering the wings, similar to the Kulana Oiwi building (ML5). This university tele-classroom building was intended as a counterpoint to Kulana Oiwi, its green walls emphasizing the lushness of Molokai's east end in contrast to the red of Kulana Oiwi and the west side of the island. The University of Hawaii, however, insisted upon a design which looked toward the future rather than the past, thus the resulting structure, which combines native Hawaiian and technological elements. The all-metal exterior utilizes a modern material in a manner inspired by Hawaiian thatched houses, with their short walls and high, dominant roofs. Like houses of old, the building rests on a stone platform, while the clerestory windows and the stainless steel doors are modern features. The decorative motifs on the concrete piers flanking the entrance depict the economic pillars of Molokai, from the ancient subsistence-based society to the current Molokai Ranch and independent agricultural endeavors. Implicitly, the knowledge gained in this long-distance learning center forms Molokai's future economic pillar.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Molokai Education Center", [Kaunakakai, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 230-231.

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