Moanalua High School Performing Arts Center

Stage presence

The new Performing Arts Center at Moanalua High School is designed as a civic cornerstone on campus, expanding the school’s nationally-recognized orchestra and performing arts programs. The narrow strip of available site on campus lent itself to two-sided functionality.  Facing the existing high school campus, the stage, makerspace and outdoor performance court can remain open for student use throughout the day. Facing the site entry, a grand entry pavilion and lanai stretch out from the lobby space as a civic arts center, both celebrating the unparalleled achievement of the musicians and openness for community use.

More economical exterior finishes of light cast concrete and dark basalt masonry were used to visually divide civic and school functions. The entry experience is defined by wood-like siding panels leading guests from outside-in, past ticketing and concessions and into the performance hall.  Exterior wood tones hint at the warm wood interior of the theater and stage.  The experience is meant to be a seamless transition from outside to in, the light and open lobby contrasted by warm organic form and tone, an architectural preface that culminates in performance.

project details


Honolulu, HI



  • AIA Honolulu 2021 Design Awards: People's Choice Award
  • American School & University Architectural Portfolio 2021