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Aquavel Chapel

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2001, Excel Designs, design architect Thomas Agawa. 92–100 Waipahe Pl.

Neighboring a marina, this wedding chapel is a playful Postmodern embodiment of Hawaii. Oval in shape, its outrigger-canoe-shaped roof is complemented by pipe-metal, rolling-wave pergolas and blue glass walls etched with pounding surf. Other oceanographic details include frog-, fish-, and whale-shaped door-stops and shell-bedecked candleholders at the ends of the pews. The building makes a dramatically original statement on Hawaii's enduring relationship to the ocean, and functions magnificently as a Japanese wedding chapel. Two pairs of glass double doors on both sides and the double-door entrance open the building to the outdoors. Filament-suspended mini-spotlighting illuminates the central aisle and altar area, and video cam eras frame the pulpit, while a more discretely placed camera films the wedding parties from above the entrance portal. The exterior, apse-like, blue-tiled pool and waterfall wrap around the chancel, and ground a striking view of the azure Pacific. A gazebo to the side of the chapel, circumscribed by a pergola-covered colonnade, provides a setting for wedding photographs.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Aquavel Chapel", [Kapolei, 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, 179-180.

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