Honolulu, HI | 45,000 sq ft

As part of Hawaii Community Development Authority’s (HCDA) plans to redevelop the Kakaako waterfront, we were asked to evaluate the old “Kewalo Incinerator” for possible reuse as a children’s museum. The structure, built in 1943, was constructed of reinforced concrete supported by wood piles and included a prominent 200-foot-tall concrete incinerator smoke stack feature. Despite the deterioration of the “smoke stack”, we determined that the structure could be saved and strengthened to meet present code requirements for wind and seismic loads. To save the smoke stack, extensive foundation work and strengthening of the stack would be required. HCDA was determined to save the stack as it was envisioned to be a prominent part of the new Children’s Museum. A number of possible solutions were explored, but it was decided that the removal of the top one-third of the stack along with encasing the entire stack with reinforced gunite would be most economical as no foundation work was required for this solution.

After the remediation and strengthening program was complete, a 2-story steel and masonry structure supported by a pile foundation was built around the existing incinerator building. A total of 25,000 square feet of new structure, in addition to 20,000 square feet of existing structure, forms the exhibit spaces and administrative offices for the new Children’s Discovery Center.


Luersen Lowrey Tsushima/HCDA