Waikiki may be getting a slight makeover in the next decade or two, which could include an inviting new entryway. This is fresh news from yesterday’s Waikiki 20/20 Conference, where public and private sectors gathered to discuss the state’s tourism hub. No specifics yet on where or what designs they had in mind, but an architecture firm did say they hope to launch an international design competition that’d help develop the gateway.

It’s surprising that a world-famous place like Waikiki doesn’t already have something like this. An entryway would not only make it easier for visitors to find their way to Waikiki, but it would also create a better sense of identity for the stretch of beaches and hotels. Of course, we wouldn’t want anything as grand as, say, Disneyland or Vegas, but something humbler. Through its design, the entryway should convey to visitors that Waikiki is a place of hospitality, a place of gathering and a place of simply enjoying each other’s company.

I’d like to also see the entryway show a Hawaiian sense of place. Hopefully, the winning design uses natural building materials and colors that compliment the landscape. I don’t think we want to see anymore concrete or drab colors added to the already urban scenery. It’d be cool if the designers could incorporate into the entryway native plants, or just greenery in general. Could be similar to the natural wall art outside of the new Kailua Whole Foods.

Perhaps the entryway could include some natural art and landscaping similar to this piece outside of the Kailua Whole Foods.

I would think an entryway near the Honolulu Zoo, nearing the end of Kapahulu Avenue, would be an ideal place for an entryway. That’s the route most visitors take if they’re coming from the freeway. Otherwise, near the Ft. DeRussy end of Waikiki.


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