A Master Designer

Dec 1, 2017

Credit Pacific Business News

Architect John Hara recently earned a Medal of Honor from the architecture community. We get more about his career and achievements from Pacific Business News editor-in-chief A. Kam Napier.

In a career that extends back to the mid-1970s, Hawaii architect John Hara has designed many a building that kama‘aina know and love. These include the modern additions to the Honolulu Museum of Art, Nearly all of the University of Hawaii West Oahu campus and its master plan. Four facilities at Punahou School, including the entire Case Middle School campus. And the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, among others.

The Hawaii Architectural Foundation and the AIA Hawaii State Council recently bestowed its Medal of Honor on Hara, making him one of only eight architects to earn the award since its founding in 1998.

According to architect Glenn Mason, president of HAF, Hara’s award is for a lifetime of exceptional architecture designs. Those designs led to serene and dignified buildings that make the most of Hawaii’s natural light while minimizing their environmental footprint.

In a wide-ranging Q&A with PBN, Hara attributes his success to taking the time to cultivate long-term relationships with clients and working closely with them to develop designs that speak to their history and mission. At the Honolulu Museum of Art, for example, his very first commission was for a simple bench. He’s currently at work updating its master plan and a new wing for modern art.