Wahi Pana o Muliwaiʻōlena

Waimānalo, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi

Muliwaiʻōlena is one of the many wahi pana or sacred places of Waimānalo. Muliwaiʻōlena is a perennial stream that flows into Waimanālo Bay.

This legendary site is connected to many stories. While the site is at the center of rich Native Hawaiian culture many people in the community are unaware of it’s signifcance. 

Muliwaiʻōlena is cared for by community students and community clean up groups. Students are also participating in Native Hawaiian plant coastal rehabilitation to build an additional connection to their land. 

The site presented many obstacles. The stream is often subject to pollution during stormwater events, trash is regularly found on site, and the coastal plants displayed signs of accelerated evapotranspiration due to the constant on-shore tradewinds. 

I chose to focus on rearranging the site by reintroducing sand dunes to promote Native coastal vegetation. I incorporated signage, dry stack rocks, and plant materials to delineate space and inform cultural protocols. Stormwater pollution is addressed by proposing gabion check dams to pacify the velocity of channelized water and a phytoremediative floating island ameliorate urban pollutants. The planting palette is inspired by the many ethnobotanical uses Native Hawaiian developed in crafts, medicine, and lei. 

The base of sand dune is fortified with dry-stack lava rocks. In the near-term plan, the dry-stack lava rocks assist in maintaining the structural integrity of the sand dune. In the long-term plan, considering a 6’ sea level rise, the stone base can be re-utilized as the foundation for a kuapā, or stone wall, for an emerging Native Hawaiian fishpond.  

Spring 2019 - ARCH 652
First Year - Design Studio II

Instructor: Angelica Rockquemore

Duration: 12 weeks

A downloadable file of the full presentation is located here.

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