Wai’olu Residence


Inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and the art of William Morris, the Arts and Crafts movement celebrated rustic simplicity and natural materials and was the inspiration for the design of this home.


North Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii




Architecture (including Interior Architecture)

Project partners

David Tamura, Landscape Architecture; Philpotts Interiors, Interior Design; KGM Lighting, Lighting Design; Oakes Management, General Contractor


Private Client



The turn of the 20th century saw American architects finding exciting new modern architectural directions in the Arts and Crafts styles. At its philosophical roots, this eclectic, tradition-oriented vernacular is invested in the essence of the human spirit; utilitarian values; rustic simplicity; and the use of natural materials, handcraft and allied arts. The owners desired a home to be designed in this same spirit.

Overlooking natural coastal anchialine ponds that raised fish for the ancient Hawaiians, this home for an extended family was designed to capture views of Uluweuweu Bay and Kikaua Point from all the major living spaces.

Transition space elements, such as entry vestibules, lanais and foyers, were integrated into this home for purposes of function, such as shade and living, while also adding considerable graciousness to the atmosphere and liveability to the home. In the case of the lanai, there is a feeling of refuge as one looks out.

Materials for the home were selected for their contribution toward a spirit of Arts and Crafts ideals, island life and durability.  The soft grey standing-seam zinc roof complements the coral stone exterior walls. Curved wood knee braces frame views, and hardwood doors and windows add richness and warmth to exterior. The interior finishes consist of local ohia hardwood and travertine stone floors, cedar trusses and ceilings, plaster walls and teak hardwood doors. Detail appointments such as bronze hardware, the etched metal range hood and cast bronze beam fastenings were all designed and selected to evoke the spirit of the era.

de Reus Architects - Luxury Tropical Waiolu Residence Aerial 2
de Reus Architects - Luxury Tropical Waiolu Residence Back Garden

“Most architects’ drawings are, at best, 80% complete. But de Reus’ drawings are two to three times more comprehensive. This means fewer questions…”

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de Reus Architects - Luxury Tropical Waiolu Residence Front
de Reus Architects - Luxury Tropical Waiolu Residence Landscape
de Reus Architects - Luxury Tropical Waiolu Residence Evening Fish Pond