University of Hawai'i - John A. Burns School of Medicine

A premier educational facility for Hawaii’s future medical professionals.

Located in Honolulu’s Kaka‘ako Special Design District, this state-of-the-art medical school consists of an Education/Administration Building, a cutting edge biomedical research facility, a staff fitness center, and a central mechanical/electrical plant. A major addition to the University of Hawai‘i System, the architectural elements of the center include a prominent Hawaiian hip roof and light shelves. Incorporated throughout the design of the complex are Hawaiian motifs, kapa patterns, etchings of Hawaiian healing plants, and representations of DNA strands. A cold seawater well system was also included for central cooling and to minimize potable water consumption.

The story of ancient Hawaiian healing wisdom is the design thread in the exterior and interior design. Weaving images and symbols of healing plants, ancient healing gods, and nature, this sophisticated contemporary building provides a welcoming ergonomic state-of-the-art facility for teaching, researching and administrative functions. The color scheme reflects Hawaii’s environment and aids in way finding.

project details


Honolulu, Hawai‘i



  • NAIOP Kukulu Hale Award, New Public/Government, Project of the Year
  • GCA Build Hawai‘i, Award of Excellence
  • Hawaiian Cement, Concrete Achievement Award
  • ASID Award of Merit
  • LEED Certified, U.S. Green Building Council