August 12, 2013 Mid-Century Modern
From the Archives: Modern Hawaii
There is so much mid-century modern architecture in Hawaii (Honolulu boomed after World War II) that one can spend a whole vacation exploring the tropical modernism of the islands. I wanted to stay married and not have my kids detest me, so I limited my time on seeing architecture to pursue the other things Hawaii has to offer.
I did spend two hours at the stunning Liljestrand House by Hawaii’s leading modernist, Vladimir Ossipoff. (Ossipoff was born in Vladivostok in 1907, raised in Japan where his father was a Russian diplomat, and educated at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation in 1931, he moved to Hawaii where he practiced architecture until his death in 1998.) The two-hour tour was led by Bob Liljestrand, whose parents Howard and Betty, spent 10 years looking for the perfect spot for the house. The wait was worth it. The house is perched high above Honolulu. The views of the city and Diamond Head are amazing. The beautiful siting and blending of outside and inside are Ossipoff’s signatures.
Here is a shot of one of Ossipoff’s other signature designs, the 1962 IBM Building. The pattern of the brise soliel (concrete sun screen) was designed, according to Osipoff, to “express the computer-world character of the IBM Corp., but also gives it a sense of belonging in the sun. The deep shadows of the grillwork become as significant a part of the architecture as any part of the structure itself.”
Here are a few other shots of the unique modern architecture of Hawaii that I spotted during the trip.
Here’s a view of Honolulu from Diamond Head. Aloha.