The apartment and condominium lifestyle is growing more and more popular in Hawaii. In Honolulu in particular, there are multifamily housing projects that cover every income bracket, everything from luxury and high-end high rises to affordable and student housing projects.
These structures were designed by the best multifamily architects in Honolulu, Hawaii, professionals well-versed in designing for the needs of numerous and diverse people and communities in Honolulu and beyond. These architects were selected by our editorial team for their local background and experience and their ability to design to suit a developer’s project requirements and needs.
733 Bishop Street, Makai Tower, Suite 3100, Honolulu, HI 96813
AHL is a multidisciplinary design firm with international experience in architecture, planning, interior design, historic architecture, and existing building services.
AHL’s projects cover the sectors of healthcare, education, residential, commercial, retail, military, industrial, and institutional. A great example of its work in the multifamily residential sector is the Pacifica Honolulu. Situated in the Kaka’ako Special Design District, Pacifica consists of a mixed-use residential, commercial, and high-rise complex. It includes a 41-story residential tower on top of a five-story podium on Kapi’olani Boulevard. Residents can enjoy the beauty of nature from inside their units, as most of Pacifica’s units have spectacular views of the ocean and mountains. The mixed-use building offers a convenient, comfortable city lifestyle, and is within walking distance of Ala Moana Center, Ward Center, Ala Moana Beach Park, and the Neal Blaisdell Center.
Peter Vincent Architects
1021 Smith Street, Penthouse, 4th Floor Entrance, Honolulu, HI 96817
Peter Vincent Architects (PVA) is a boutique architecture and interior design firm located in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown. The firm’s geographic reach is wide, inclusive of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. As wide as this reach is, the firm’s spectrum of styles and genres respond to the unique needs and vision of each client. Alongside these considerations, the firm also takes into account the physical, social, and environmental opportunities and requirements offered by each site.
One great example of the firm’s work in multifamily design is a new Multifamily Mixed-Use Condo in Mo’ili’ili. The condominium is a new twelve-story mixed-use building incorporating sustainable design practices. The project features a basement, commercial space on the ground level, a three-story parking garage, a recreation deck with a pool, and 32 individually-owned units. The exciting new project will break ground in 2022.
735 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
With over 200 architects and designers in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Hong Kong, Handel Architects is dedicated to making cities better places to live. The firm believes that buildings are more than just structures: it strives to design buildings that serve as catalysts for positive urban and social change. Handel heralds this change across the markets of urban infrastructure, master planning, high-density mixed-use developments, corporate headquarters, multi-family projects across all income bands, hotels, and buildings for non-profit, institutional, and educational clients around the world.
One example of the firm’s work is the Hokua Tower in Honolulu. The 40-story tower was the first high-rise condominium to be built in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu in more than 10 years. It includes 248 luxury residences with lanai-style balconies, 753 parking spaces, a 75,000-square-foot pool deck, a 6,000-square-foot fitness center, and 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The tower’s overall design drew inspiration from the island’s vernacular, incorporating enduring materials in the interior such as honed travertine marble, limestone, onyx, lava rock, and rich woods, to create luxurious “homes in the sky.”
111 S. King Street, Suite 170, Honolulu, HI 96813
G70 is an award-winning design practice that includes architects, civil engineers, planners, interior designers, and asset managers. The firm offers full services and comprehensive support for commercial, educational, and medical facilities. Its expertise covers master planning for major urban landholdings, the conceptual design and the development of resort communities, and housing developments both locally and abroad.
One great example of the firm’s work is the Iolani School Residence Hall in Honolulu. Located at the heart of the school campus, the new five-story dormitory houses students for Grades 9-12. It consists of four multi-bedroom faculty apartments on the first floor and fourteen dorm units per floor on the four upper floors. The dorm units—arranged around an alcove promoting interactions between students—captures panoramic views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. Each floor provides a shared bathroom, a common area with a kitchenette, and a study room. The ground floor, meanwhile, offers a sundry, a kitchenette, a laundry, and a large gathering area for informal meetings.
WATG and Wimberly Interiors
700 Bishop Street, Suite 800, Honolulu, HI 96813
WATG and Wimberly Interiors is a global, multidisciplinary design team of 500 skilled professionals designing landmark urban and leisure destinations. The firm has eight offices across three continents and has designed and delivered over 400 built projects in 170 countries and territories. Since its inception, WATG has created incredible and exciting developments in Honolulu in the hospitality, tourism, and destination sectors.
One example of the firm’s work is the Kuala Lumpur-based urban and mixed-use project, St. Mary Residences. This stylish urban residential destination was designed to create excitement with a young and sophisticated audience. It features a 250,000-square-foot serviced apartment tower and two additional condominium towers with over a thousand units, branded by E&O Residences Group. It includes 25,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, and club space.
Benjamin Woo Architects
600 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 402B, Honolulu, HI 96813
Benjamin Woo Architects (BWA) is one of Hawaii’s leading, design-centric architectural firms in practice today. Since its inception in 2000, BWA has built its reputation through high-profile projects while keeping a tight-knit collective of architects and creative professionals. The firm believes that its compact size fosters efficiency, permits the firm to work on a more personal level with its clients, and creates a collaborative atmosphere with industry partners.
One great example of the firm’s work is the Lilia Waikiki in Honolulu. Located on the corner of Kuhio Avenue and Kanekapolei Street, Lilia Waikiki includes 455 market-rate and affordable rental units as well as a full-service grocery store and curated retail servicing the neighborhood. The project began construction in the summer of 2019 and was completed in 2021 in collaboration with design architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz.
725 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite C400, Honolulu, HI 96813
WCIT Architecture is a design firm of internationally-trained architects and interior designers. Since its inception in 2000, the firm has quickly become one of Hawaii’s leading design consultants, especially in project types and sectors such as luxury resorts, resort residential, commercial, educational, healthcare, and community-based design and development.
A great example of the firm’s work in multifamily housing is the affordable housing building, Nohona Hale. The sixteen-story high rise was completed in collaboration with Swinerton Builders, with WCIT acting as a designer on the project. Nohona Hale features 111 micro-units with access to their own private lanais, community gardens, a lounge area, a fitness room, and on-site laundry facilities. The residential building was built using smart growth principles: EAH Housing and the Bronx Pro Group which achieved LEED Gold certification in 2020.
1150 South King Street, 8th Floor, Honolulu, HI 96814
With over fifty years of experience providing architectural design services throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, RMA Architects is a design firm whose range of experience involves providing everything from small renovations to large campuses for its commercial and federal/state government clientele. Although founded by Richard Matsunaga, AIA as Richard Matsunaga and Associates, the firm is led today by Brent Tokita, AIA, LEED AP, and the firm was renamed RMA Architects on its 50th anniversary.
One example of the firm’s work is Halekauwila Place. Located in the heart of Kaka’ako, this residential complex is home to 203 local families living in everything from affordable studios to three-bedroom apartments. The project was completed in 2014 and stands as both a familiar structure in the area and a model for public/private partnership in Kaka’ako.
1347 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 401, Honolulu, HI 96814
Living and working in Hawaii has fundamentally shaped InForm Design’s practice. The firm honors the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii by connecting people and communities to their site-specific environments. The company is firmly invested in co-shaping the places and spaces of the dynamic island of Hawaii and beyond.
One example of the firm’s work is the Na Lei Hulu Kupuna. InForm Design assisted in the refurbishment of the five-story, 76-unit residential property for seniors under the LIHTC program and state Rental Assistance. The property—designed as an Equal Opportunity Housing Facility—is meant to provide comfortable living units, open common areas, recreational space, and educational activity spaces to facilitate an amicable communal environment for residents of the property.