with stunning land and water views...

A House on the Big Island

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to California-based Walker Warner Architects and interior design firm NICOLEHOLLIS were clear: Create a house that’s architecturally compelling but not showy, beautiful but not so beautiful that it competes with views of the Big Island of Hawaii. That meant embracing both foreground (a dramatic volcanic landscape) and background (the glistening Pacific Ocean) from a series of pavilions that practically disappear when their glass walls are slid open. Sticking to a limited materials palette — cedar for walls and ceilings, black basalt for floors, white marble for kitchens and bathrooms — allowed the team to keep visual distractions to a minimum. The goal, interior designer Nicole Hollis has said, was a house so versatile you could sit around in a wet bathing suit and later attend an elegant chef-prepared dinner — in the same room.








is mostly light-colored, a counterpoint to the dark floors and lava groundscape. New York artist Michele Oka Doner created bronze door handles based on branches, which Hollis used instead of conventional doorknobs. Hollis also collaborated with furniture designer John Houshmand on a large “multi-material” coffee table for the living room. Other living room furnishings include a Groundpiece sofa by Flexform with shelf arms wrapped in gray leather and a Web chair by Hans Wegner.





beneath a large, globe-shaped Cherry Bomb chandelier by Lindsey Adelman, one of the largest Adelman has ever made, are five slate-gray Vladimir Kagan barrel chairs and an Afritamu coffee table by Christian Astuguevieille. The dining area features Christian Liaigre Arctique armchairs. In the kitchen, a quintet of Thomas Hayes Studio leather cord stools face the waterfall-edge island, which is topped with a pair of Atollo table lamps by Vico Magistretti for Oluce.




driveway sunk into the surrounding rock formations leads to a courtyard shielded on three sides by pavilions, called hales in the native language. The entry sequence provides a path from enclosure to expanse, from darkness to light. The courtyards’ reflecting pools (part of a landscape design by Lutsko Associates) heighten the drama.






areas are as carefully designed as the more public ones. A guest bedroom nestles against a water feature carved into the lava. The master bedroom features a haute couture-inspired custom headboard; the master bath a vanity and drawers hand carved in Italy from a single piece of marble. (The room’s stone stools are by Kreoo) The result, in Hollis’s words: A curated environment anchored by special, highly personalized pieces.










Architecture: Walker Warner Architects


Landscape: Lutsko Associates

Builder: Ledson Construction

Structural: GFDS Engineers

Photography: Douglas Friedman



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