Inspired by the existing modernist façade, the new courtyard at IBM Victoria Ward tower showcases a landscape expression of modern Hawaiian architectural motifs and powerful cultural history. The historic IBM tower was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff—Hawaii’s quintessential modernist. The new landscape is a distilled expression of Hawaiian identity and serves as an introduction to a larger mixed-use master plan of over 60 acres in central Honolulu.
Providing new ways of engaging with the architecture, the courtyard design pays homage to Ossipoff’s façade pattern in the paving of its ground plane and in a new elevated water feature. The original landscape was never fully realized, and until this redesign Ossipoff’s beautiful building sat in an asphalt parking lot. As viewed from the new Lanai—a vernacular Hawaiian landscape typology—the subtly articulated courtyard allows for flexibility for events and everyday use, ultimately creating a place of respite from the urban edge. The linear water feature screens the foreground while creating a linkage to the ocean’s horizon line and reflecting the play and ephemerality of light throughout the day.