Hale Kiawe: Minimalist Hawaiian Home Inspired by Vastu Shastra

Hale Kiawe, a harmonious retreat in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, showcases the expertise of renowned architect Walker Warner. Designed in 2021, this minimalist house embodies the principles of Vastu Shastra, an ancient Indian architectural system, to create a soulful and welcoming sanctuary for a couple seeking a permanent home in their beloved vacation destination. The design team’s thoughtful integration of the site’s natural history and the clients’ heritage has resulted in a residence that beautifully merges the built and natural environments.

A scenic rural landscape with several modern, dark-colored structures nestled amid lush greenery.
Serene Japanese-inspired garden pathway leading to modern wooden structures with lush greenery.
A rustic wooden cabin surrounded by lush greenery, with a wooden deck and a winding boardwalk leading to it.
Expansive wooden structure with large windows overlooking lush greenery, cozy seating arrangements.
A cozy living room with a wooden ceiling, large windows, and a scenic nature view.
Spacious kitchen with vaulted wooden ceiling, built-in shelving, and sleek black countertops.
Spacious bathroom with modern freestanding bathtub, wooden accents, and lush outdoor views.
Rustic wooden pergola structure with lounge seating and outdoor pool overlooking lush landscape.
Wooden path leads to a modern, open-air structure surrounded by lush greenery.
Tropical modern bungalow with open-air design, wooden accents, and lush landscaping.

About Hale Kiawe

A Hawaiian Sanctuary Infused with Ancient Indian Wisdom

After years of cherishing Hawaii’s splendor, this couple decided to make the island their permanent haven. As minimalists, they sought a cozy, welcoming, and soulful retreat that embodied restraint. To create such a place, they incorporated the principles of Vastu Shastra—an ancient Indian architectural system that harnesses the energies of nature.

Honoring the Site’s Volcanic History

The site began as a barren tract, save for discarded building remnants and scattered kiawe trees. The design team discovered that lava had once flowed through the land, so they sought to echo this history through the built form.

Aligning with Vastu Shastra Principles

Contrary to the initial inclination, the home faces east, prioritizing an east-facing door and rooms pointing toward a central courtyard—key principles of Vastu Shastra.

Seamless Transition from Outdoors to In

A meandering pathway and water feature lead to an enclosed lanai—the entryway and heart of the home. This open-air pavilion transitions the occupants from the chaotic outside world to the tranquil within.

Harmonizing with the Surroundings

The structures draw inspiration from the agrarian buildings that once dotted the area, with clean lines and geometries contrasting the undulating landscape and coastline. The muted interior palette mirrors the natural beauty, allowing it to take center stage.

Floating Above the Lava-Kissed Land

The architecture, in harmony with the terrain, floats above grasses and molten rock, emblematic of the era when lava ran through the site. Thoughtfully integrated plantings restore the unity between the built and natural environment, now gracefully sheltered under a canopy of kiawe trees.

Photography courtesy of Walker Warner
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- by Matt Watts