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The Kahala (Kahala Hilton Hotel)

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Kahala Hilton Hotel
1964, Killingsworth, Brady and Smith. 5000 Kahala Ave.
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)

The Kahala is easily recognized by its articulated exterior framework of precast-concrete, post-and-beam members that rise above the flat roofline like a pergola against the sky. The ten-story building follows a T-shaped plan, with the head containing three hundred large guest rooms. The three-story base of the T is occupied by the long, narrow, pavilion-like lobby and lounge, with thirty-foot-high ceilings. Although not as open as many of the more recent resort hotels, windows and shutters do line the length of the teak-floored lobby and its adjoining spaces, providing an open, lambent atmosphere, which is accentuated by a lanai overlooking the dolphin lagoon. Hints of Killingsworth's Kapalua Bay (1977; demolished), Halekulani (OA133), and Mauna Lani Bay (HA75) hotels may be glimpsed in this early project; however, it remains a more restrained, less engaging design than the later works.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "The Kahala (Kahala Hilton Hotel)", [Honolulu, 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, 169-169.

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