Anaha Residential Tower | Surfacedesign

Anaha — “reflection of light” in the Hawaiian language — was designed to capture and reflect the light of the Pacific Ocean as well as the dramatic and ever‐changing sky in Honolulu. Set within the Ward Village development, this multi‐family residential project is informed by native Hawaiian plants and traditions, paying homage to the natural beauty and history of Honolulu.

Anaha is oriented with its long axis perpendicular to the shoreline to preserve sight lines from mauka (mountains in Hawaiian) to makai (sea). At the ground floor, subtle differences in stone finish — from bush‐hammered to honed Cremino stone paving — reveal a wave pattern. This paving is mirrored and repeated across the multiple levels of open space, connecting the site vertically and materially.

A series of terraces and ramps weaves through a reflecting pool, which culminates in the piko firepit. Piko is the Hawaiian word for the navel, where life begins, and is a symbol of peace and tranquility. Framing the firepit and reflecting pool is the largest living wall in Hawaii. Featuring more than 8,000 native plants, it connects the interior and exterior lobby space, moving through the glazing.

Inspired by the tides and wave patterns of the beaches of Honolulu, the pool deck at the top of the building features undulating terraces that mimic coral growth patterns. At the end of the deck, a transparent‐bottom lap pool extends out toward the ocean, revealing the bustling city life that passes

Anaha Residential Tower

Location: Honolulu, HI, USA

Landscape/Architecture Firm: Surfacedesign, Inc.
Lead Architect: James A. Lord, FASLA, Founding Partner
Design Team:
Kika Probst, Senior Associate
Leon Hordijk, PLA, ASLA, Associate
Alain Peauroi, Senior Associate
Garrett Miller, Project Manager

Client: The Howard Hughes Corporation

Lead Architect: SCB
Architect of Record: Benjamin Woo Architects
General Contractor: Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.
Landscape Architectural Assistance: Brownlie & Lee
Landscape Contractor: Takano Nakamura Landscaping
Green Wall Manufacturer: Green Living Technologies
Swimming Pool Contractor: Pacific Aquascapes

Photography: Marion Brenner

About Damian Holmes 3314 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at