2013 AIA Honolulu's Members Choice Award
Entrant 24 - University of Hawaii West Oahu
The construction of the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu fulfills the demand for accessible higher education for the growing population in the ‘Ewa plain, in addition to serving as a cornerstone for partnerships with the surrounding community. The design for the six buildings that make up the first phase of the new campus is based on the intrinsic idea of a distinct university within a vibrant neighborhood, with a rural, agricultural past and respect for community, history and typography. This unique identity will reinforce the campus’ growth over time as a new center of education and leadership in Hawai’i. The UHWO had humble beginnings in 1976, when it opened its doors with 75 students in classrooms located at three different high schools, spread throughout the state. After the opening of the new campus in 2012, enrollment has grown to over 1,900 students with an increase of 40 percent over the past two years. Providing accessible higher education for a region historically underserved had long been a goal, and as the campus expands, the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu will continue to provide the educational backbone for not only the leeward side of the island, but the entire state of Hawai’i.