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All photos by: Andrea Brizzi

Tropical Modernism


The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has a special relationship with the movement we now call Tropical Modernism. Founded in 1907 and relocated to the remote farm lands of the Mānoa Valley in 1912, the university expanded exponentially in the post-World War II years to accommodate a new generation of students. Underwritten by the G.I. Bill and by an intense belief in the value of education of Hawaii residents, the university expanded under the leadership of a succession of forward-looking presidents and the support of Hawaii’s progressive governor, John A. Burns (1909-1975), elected in 1962 and serving until 1972. Burns and other figures in what came to be seen as the “Democratic Revolution”—a coalescence of unions, veterans, and political figures—re-envisioned Hawai‘i as a place of international understanding. They also placed a premium on public education, expanding schools and institutions, and striving to make the university a hallmark of practical education for Hawai‘i’s residents and for those outsiders wishing to make Hawai‘i their home.

For architecture it meant new opportunities. Older firms reinvented architectural styles for a new purpose. Beaux Arts architect Mark Potter (1895-1966) brought Bauhaus sensibilities to the new chemistry building, Bilger Hall, constructed in 1951. Sinclair Library, designed by the firm of Lemmon, Freeth & Haines (later Architects Hawaii, now AHL), pointed to a new architectural vocabulary and the incorporation of expressly “tropical” features, such as natural ventilation. Bachman Hall, designed by Russian emigre Vladimir Ossipoff (1907-1998), with help by architects Philip Fisk (d. 1958), Allen Johnson (1906-2000), Thomas Perkins (d. 1996), and Alfred Preiss (1911-1993), announced the beginning of a new image for the university—one colored by progressive ideals and an openness to new ideas.

Beginning in the 1950s, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese architects experienced greater opportunities for commissions. Ted Vieira (1902-1987), a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, designed public schools, a new Honolulu airport, and Henke Hall at UHM—the 1951 home of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, demolished in 2017 to make room for a new life sciences
building (now under construction). Japanese and Chinese-American architects George K. C. Lee (1921-1995), Takashi Anbe (1925-1985), and Hideo Murakami(1930-2016) also designed new buildings at UHM. Architectural variety matched ethnic diversity, with many of the new structures lining the university’s McCarthy Mall displaying innovations in design and materials, from bris solei to metal  screens and breeze blocks.

The East-West Center (EWC), otherwise the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, represented a new place for Hawai‘i on the world stage. The brainchild of newly arrived art professor (and then acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) Murray Turnbull (1919-2014), sinologist and philosophy professor Charles A. Moore (1901-1967), and political science
professor Norman Melle (1913-2000), the East-West Center emerged from a proposal by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) to establish an educational center in Hawaii to provide for “cultural and technical interchange between East
and West.” In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhauer signed a law authorizing the creation of the center and appropriating $8 million in capital for the construction of six buildings.

This step brought then little-known Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei (1917-2019) to Hawaii, where, beginning in 1961, he undertook the design of a new 21-acre campus on the banks of Mānoa Stream—in an area once occupied by chicken coops and the offices of the agricultural experiment station. Assisted by several local architects, especially Clifford Young (1918-2011) and John H. McAuliffe (1916-1997), Pei would bring a new level of architectural sophistication to Hawai‘i. Closely aligned with UHM, the independent EWC continues the tradition of international education and cultural and ethnic diversity inscribed in its founding documents nearly sixty years ago.







Jefferson Hall, which houses the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center, was actually the last major building completed of the original East West Center campus. Designed by renowned Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei (1917-2019) and finished in 1963, it serves as the principal focus of the center’s multibuilding complex. The East-West Center was one of Pei’s earliest large projects; his other ground-breaking design, Mesa Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research began in 1961, but was only completed six years later. Pei reached deep into his Chinese roots for inspiration, notably for the stylized, I-profile concrete beams and girders supporting the roof and upper story.
Originally open to the outside, the main floor once featured a lounge for the East West Center’s scholars, students, and distinguished visitors. (It was enclosed during renovations in 1985). Pei was assisted in the realization of the combined auditorium, food service facility, lecture rooms, offices, and conference spaces by the Honolulu partnership of Young & Henderson, successor to McAuliffe, Young & Associates. Jean Charlot (1898-1979), a noted Hawai‘i-based, French-born artist and a former student of Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Affandi (1907-1990) of Indonesia, and New Zealand muralist David Barker (b. 1941) created the interior art work. Japanese landscape architect Kenzō Ogata (1912-1988) led a separate team in the design of the Japanese Garden, located to the rear of the building. Named after the third president of the U.S., Jefferson Hall combines the austere symmetry of the New Formalism with hints of Chinese traditional architecture to convey the links between Asia and the West envisioned by the center’s multiple champions and founders.






Hale Mānoa
Located toward the makai (ocean-side) end of the 21-acre East-West Center campus, Hale Mānoa is a 13-story, elegantly-finished but still “Brutalist” structure  designed by I. M. Pei. Clearly inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unité d’habitation housing (including the Cité radieuse in Marseilles, built in 1947-1952), Hale Mānoa originally housed 400 male students in the East West Center fellowship programs; females lived at the four-story Hale Kuahine further mauka (toward the mountains). Completed in 1962, the impressive dormitory features double
floors of rooms interspersed by four open floor areas (lanais) for cooking, eating, and socializing. With the reception and lounge areas on the ground floor, Hale Mānoa provides a lively home for today’s multinational (and now co-ed) residents—who still enjoy the cross ventilation offered by the lanai and the opportunities of meeting fellow students and visitors. Dependent on the trade winds for ventilation, the access stairs from the lanai areas can feel a bit restricting. Students prefer the ocean side for its views but often choose the mountain side for the cooler climate. The building has undergone few changes, other than the redecorating of the ground-floor lounge in 2004 and the provision of new kitchens in 2005. The dorm rooms cluster into separate living units of two double and five single rooms, all sharing a single bathroom area. Born in Guangzhou, China and raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Pei had lived in the U.S. since 1935, when he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania to study architecture. Transferring to MIT and then completing his graduate studies at Harvard, he was drawn to the architectural modernism of Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius (1883-1969) and Marcel Breuer (1902-1981). Pei was a not-unlikely candidate for the design of a new institution celebrating the bridging of cultures. As with the nearby Kennedy Theatre, the local firm of McAuliffe,Young & Associates provided onsite supervision.





Kennedy Theatre
The Kennedy Theatre was known originally as the East-West Center Theatre, when constructed in 1962. President Kennedy’s assassination took place a few days before its November 25, 1963 opening; within five days the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents agreed to change the name to Kennedy Theatre to honor the late president—the first public building in the US to be so designated. (“Theater” in Hawai‘i has long been rendered as the British “Theatre”.) Designed by I. M. Pei with the local firm of McAuliffe, Young & Associates handling the on-site supervision, the 800-seat performance center features prestressed concrete beams and girders, creating an expansive two-story covered lanai frequently used during events. The decorative treatment, including the slightly arched balcony support and Chinese-patterned beam ends, relate directly to Jefferson Hall across the street. Originally built to serve East-West Center conferences, the theatre quickly became a popular venue with the University of Hawai‘i Drama Department. A land-swap resulted in the university assuming ownership of the theatre, with the East-West Center acquiring the land for Burns Hall, the administrative building for the center.





Lincoln Hall, completed in 1962, was one of five original buildings designed by I. M. Pei for the East-West Center. Intended as a residence for visiting scholars, professionals, and trainees on short programs, the building—named, of course, for President Abraham Lincoln—encompasse four-story high atrium space, filled with exotic plants. As with other East-West Center structures, the local firm of McAuliffe, Young & Associates played a significant role in Lincoln Hall’s construction. It has been suggested that both Hale Kuahine and Lincoln Hall were primarily the work of McAuliffe, Young & Associates, though I. M. Pei still appears to be the architect of record. The design for both buildings follows
Pei’s theme for the complex, including the concrete bris solei and almost classical simplicity. The rooms are naturally ventilated by louvers set into the window sills. The interlocking concrete blocks (CMU) create an interesting square pattern on the infenestrated sections of the side walls, suggesting something of a debt to Frank Lloyd Wright’s experiments with decorative masonry blocks. The interior atrium also has a “Wrightian” feel, suggestive of the Marin County Civic Center completed the same year. Prior to the completion of Burns Hall in 1977, Lincoln Hall served as the East West Center program offices, and also as the press offices and center’s library. Renovated by the firm of Umemoto Cassandro Design Corporation, in now serves its original purpose as a residence for visitors.







Moore Hall
Named after sinologist and philosophy professor Charles A. Moore (1901-1967), the 1969 four-story Moore Hall was the creation of Hilo-born architect Hideo Murakami (1930-2016). Murakami was educated at Iowa State University and at Kansas State, receiving a Master of Science degree in 1953. In 1954, he was an apprentice at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, training and working at both the Spring Green and Scottsdale Taliesin branches. Joining Vladimir Ossipoff’s firm as a draftsman in 1956, he worked then with local architect George K. C. Lee (1921-1995) before becoming the official Architect for the City and County of Honolulu in 1959 and then state comptroller in 1974. Murakami was active in numerus professional organizations and a strong advocate of architectural modernism. His design for Moore Hall incorporates bris solei more reminiscent of Le Corbusier than Wright. The H-plan building is notable for semi-enclosed courtyard spaces and for its distinct, folded-plate canopy roofs featuring open slots at the ridges. Glass curtain walls shelter the otherwise open stairs and circulation areas for all floors. Financed with federal funds to serve as the East-West Center Classroom Building (prior to its renaming as Moore Hall), the classically
proportioned structure was originally painted an off-white to match the other buildings of the East-West Center campus.





Bilger Hall
, originally called simply the Chemistry Building, was completed in 1951 to provide laboratory space and additional classrooms for the growing science interest at the university. The architect was English-born and New Zealand-raised local architect Mark Potter (1895-1966), who was a direct descendent of English architect and astronomer Christopher Wren (1622-1723) and known especially for his romantic, Arts and Crafts styles houses and cottages and for an earlier association with Harry Livingston Kerr (1863-1937), with whom he designed the neoclassical-style Mission Memorial Building of 1915. Strongly suggestive of Modernism’s Bauhaus roots, the three-story building displays a striking range of industrial awning windows that contrast strongly with the smooth stucco surfaces and projecting concrete canopy of the uppermost floor. The entrance retains a stark classicism, with its projecting frame containing a smooth stone surface suggestive of Mussolini’s Rome. Originally to be dedicated by Cal Tech physicist Linus Pauling (1901-1994)—who was “disinvited” due to his being called out by the House Un-American Activities Committee—the building was named after Dr Leonora Neuffer Bilger (1893-1975) and her husband Dr Earl Bilger (1898-1964), both associated with the Chemistry Department at UHM for many years. The contractor for the project was the Pacific Construction Company; the total cost was $1,152,000. Fairly utilitarian on the interior, the building nonetheless boasts a mural by Juliette May Fraser (1887-1983).





Snyder Hall
Designed by architects Takashi Anbe (1925-1985) and George K. C. Lee (1921-1995) and completed in 1962, Snyder Hall was named for internationally known geneticist Laurence Hasbrouck Snyder (1901-1986), president of the University of Hawai‘i from 1958 to 1963. Built of reinforced concrete at a cost of $1.5 million, Snyder Hall occupies an important place on McCarthy Mall, the pedestrian spine of the mauka (mountain side) campus of UH Mānoa. Originally known as the Health Research Institute Building, the five-story, 60,000-squarefoot Snyder Hall is an excellent example of Tropical Modern architecture on campus; its operable metal louvers span the exterior, interrupted by vertical
concrete columns and simple metal rails. The entrance features an elegant cascading staircase and landing—suggestive of Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)— protected by a generous concrete and sheet metal canopy. Now the home of the Microbiology Department, Snyder has suffered years of poor maintenance and neglect. It is currently slated for demolition.





Saunders Hall, built in 1974, is representative of the resurgent interest in diagonal planning in the 1970s, spawned by Chicago-based SOM architect Walter Netsch (1920-2008)—known at the time as “Field Theory.” Designed by the firm of Ossipoff, Snyder, Roland and Goetz, with Sid Snyder serving as the principal architect, Saunders is set at 45-degree angle to the neoclassical University “Quad.” The new concrete building for social sciences made a bold statement on the then fairly conservative campus of UH Mānoa. Seven stories high (with a separate roof terrace) and distinguished by its deeply embossed concrete stucco surface, Saunders Hall is organized around a large open courtyard, with its open circulation corridors punctuated by corner projections hovering over the courtyard garden below. Subject to a mid 1990s “experiment in sustainability”—principally the installation of a photovoltaic system, though also including composting, a water catchment provisions, and green roofing— Saunders Hall is home to many of the university’s social science departments, including the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) on the ground floor. Originally named Porteus Hall, after UH psychologist Stanley D. Porteus (inventor of the Porteus Maze Test), in 2001 the building received the new moniker of Saunders Hall after Allan Saunders (1897-1989), UH political
science professor known for his work on behalf of civil liberties. (Porteus had written a number of books suggesting that “Caucasians” were superior to other races and that race and gender were determinants of capabilities among humans, a fact that did not sit well with UH faculty members and students in 1998, when the controversy over the name erupted.)





Sinclair Library
Named after Asian Studies scholar Gregg M. Sinclair (1890-1976), the fourth president of the University of Hawai‘i, Sinclair Library was one of the first Modernist buildings added to the growing campus in Mānoa when it was completed in 1956. Originally called “The New Library,” Sinclair was the work of the firm of Lemmon, Freeth & Haines (which evolved to become the prominent firm of Architects Hawaii Ltd., more recently AHL). Englishman Cyril Lemmon (1901-1993), a one-time employee of the famous Hawai‘i Regionalist architect C. W, Dickey (1871-1942), began his practice in 1946 out of his garage in Waikiki. His small firm’s experience was largely in house and apartment design, and the new library represented a considerable move up in the profession. Contracted for the project in 1951, Lemmon traveled—accompanied by the University of Hawai‘i’s librarian—to the U.S. mainland to study libraries there. The library would embrace the climate of the Hawaiian Islands, eschewing the new technology of air-conditioning and designing interior spaces in a way to permit future change. Distinctive features include the operable glass jalousies of the main reading rooms and the gently curving entry, composed of concrete, brick, and Waiā nae sandstone. Helping to establish the firm’s reputation, the library would eventually house some 500,000 volumes, making it the preeminent research collection in the Pacific. With the construction of the new Hamilton library in 1965, which was extended in 1975, Sinclair Library shifted to serve undergraduates, beginning in 1991, and then media and art and architectural history. The university plans now to convert it to a student learning center.





Bachman Hall,
built in 1948, was the product of the partnership of Associated Architects, with Vladimir Ossipoff (1907-1998) serving as principal designer. Built by the Pacific Construction Company, beginning in 1949, the new administrative building (and president’s office) shifted the focus of the campus away from the old “Quad” to the edge of University Avenue and Dole Street, presenting a new face to Honolulu and announcing a new direction for the university. In addition to Ossipoff, the collaboration consisted of architects Philip Fisk (d. 1958), Allen
Johnson (1906-2000), Thomas Perkins (d. 1996), and Alfred Preis (1911-1993)—recent research suggests that the Austrian-born Preiss may have had a larger role in the project than once thought. Named after Paul S. Bachman (1901-1957), the University of Hawai‘i’s fifth president, on the anniversary of the university’s 50th anniversary (1957), Bachman Hall is distinguished by its unusual arrangement of spatial volumes, employing a pierced screen, “false” walls and windows, an open courtyard defined by square columns (and planted with contrastingly curving
coconut palms), and a dramatic two-story entryway. The building has special significance for the architects’ collaboration with French-born muralist Jean Charlot (1898-1979), one-time student of the Mexican artist and revolutionary Diego Rivera (1886-1957). The landscape partnership of Thompson and Thompson (Catharine Jones Thompson and Robert Oliver Thompson) designed the courtyard and lawn facing the building. Originally the ground floor of this building was open; the university added the glass sliding doors on the diamond head and `ewa sides sometime in the late 1960s- 1970s.





Portables
The wood “temporary” buildings, known as the “Portables” continued a long tradition of predominantly wood temporary buildings added to the campus after World War II. These had included 62 former barracks moved to the campus to house a variety of programs, including art, engineering, faculty housing, and a university snack bar. A surplus Quonset hut also joined the campus in the postwar period. The remaining Portables, dating to 1967, were a response to a significant jumpin enrollment and expansion of program offerings in the 1960s. Designed by
Minnesota-born and University of Michigan-trained architect Richard N. Dennis (1914-1998), the Portables answered a number of campus needs and have changed functions over time. Shed-roofed, with tongue-and-groove Douglas fir vertical siding, the Portables were a frank expression of Tropical Modernism. They sit high above grade on poured-concrete and CMU columns, a design choice that promoted maximum ventilation. Wood screens provided shade for continuous bands of high windows on the “hot side”; the entry side featured continuous open lanais and operable glass-louvered windows. Dennis had come to Hawai‘i during the war, working with CPCAB (Contractors Pacific Naval
Air Bases) at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. He worked with Vladimir Ossipoff upon his discharge in 1947, opening his own office the following year. Active from 1957 in the Honolulu Chapter of the AIA, he was noted for the design of several beachside comfort stations and won AIA awards for the Alice C. Guthrie Residence (1958) and the Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Reese Residence (1965), among others.





Biomedical Science Building
The Biomedical Science Building was designed by renowned architect Edward Durell Stone (1902-1978) in the early 1960s. Original construction drawings date to October 1967 and UH Manoa took possession of the building in 1971, thereby making the building approximately 48 years old. Some of Edward Durell Stone’s most famous and notable buildings include Radio City Music Hall New York,1932; the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India, 1958; and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., 1971. Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Stone trained at the University of Arkansas, Harvard and MIT (though never took a degree). His early work was in what might be called a Modernist (Streamlined) vocabulary, shifting to more geometrical very Bauhaus style buildings by the end of the 1930s. By the late 1950s he had begun to propagate a new more classical architecture that became identified by architectural critics as the New Formalism. Much of his work is characterized by the use of marble and pierced concrete walls, employing common breeze-blocks in some of his work (including his own house on East 64th Street in New York). The Biomedical Science Building is a seven-story tower surrounded by a blocklike hollow cube. Six courtyards originally filled the space between the outer perimeter and allowed for internal circulation and connection between the structures. Four courtyards were situated in each major corner of the square design. Each cardinal side of the building also had a primary entry leading to its own courtyard. The walls are scored throughout in designs reflective of Pacific Island pottery and textile designs. The tower has similar bands of decoration on each floor, surmounted by continuous ranges of high windows. A distant view suggests both an ancient compound and a pagoda. In 2010, Group-70 (now G70) added the C-MORE (Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education) Hale to the makai (ocean) end of the larger compound. Awarded LEED Platinum Certification, the new structure somewhat obscures the original structure.





Sakamaki Hall,
completed in 1977, is named for historian Shunzo Sakamaki (1906-1973), the first Asian-American faculty member to reach rank of professor at UHM. Originally titled the “General Instructional and Related Facilities Building” or “Classroom Building #5,” it was renamed Sakamaki Hall in 1979. The new four-story building occupied land occupied previously by the Pineapple Research Institute’s greenhouses, which had been on the site since 1931. The architect was Kaimuki High School graduate Robert Matsushita (1929-1993), known for his designs for the Makiki Bel Air Apartments (1964), the Waipahu Soto Zen Mission (1973), and later the Diamond Head campus of Kapiolani Community College. Matsushita received his architectural training at the University of Oklahoma, studying under noted architect Bruce Goff (1904-1982) and completing his degree in 1952. Sakamaki Hall’s cost was $4,867,913; the contractor was E. E. Black, Limited. Shige Yamada (b. 1933) designed the ceramic tile mural on the ground floor. Called “Fantasy Hall” by students, due to the play of light at different times of day, Sakamaki’s shaded courtyards and open lanai quickly became popular during class breaks. The building would house the College of Continuing Education and Community Service, and the History, Religion, and Philosophy Departments. Shunzo Sakamaki from Ōla‘a near Hilo, went to Hilo High, graduating in 1923. In 1927 he earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Hawai‘i, completing an M.A. in history the following year in 1928. While a student Sakamaki edited the student paper Ka Leo and led a petition for the university’s first gymnasium. He later taught at Doshisha University in Kyoto, then at Mid-Pac Institute from 1931-33. He received a doctorate from Columbia in 1939, teaching at UHM from 1936, where he eventually served as Dean of Summer Session (from 1955).






Webster Hall and Spalding Hall
The L-plan complex of Webster and Spalding Halls dates to the period of university expansion in 1960-1961. Originally called Classroom Buildings A and B, the UH regents gave them their permanent names, Webster and Spalding, in 1962. Their dedication would wait another two years. The architects for the complex were Takashi Anbe and George K. C. Lee, with Anbe taking the leading role. The buildings housed the Departments of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, although the experimental laboratories for the Department of Education also shifted to Webster from their old home in George Hall shortly after construction was completed. The complex was (and is) distinguished by its innovative use of aluminum screens and breeze block stair towers. The metal screens at Spalding are still in place, consisting of a continuous gold-colored mesh protecting windows from the harsh afternoon sun. Unfortunately, the projecting metal “coolers” of Webster were removed as part of a general renovation around 2010; the present windows are fitted with undistinguished awning windows, flattening the face of the hall. The building’s users did not always applaud the innovative screens; they were commonly referred to as “the vegetable graters” or “the potato scrapers” and were cited for introducing a harsh yellow glare into the rooms. UHM facilities planners complained of pigeons and other vermin seeking shelter behind the screens. Architect Takashi Anbe had a long history of innovative design.
Born in Wailuku, Maui, he received his degree in architectural engineering from Washington State University. Following World War II, he joined Wimberly & Cook before opening his own office in 1956. This evolved to be Anbe, Aruga, Ishizu, and Tsutsui, a firm responsible for a number of buildings in the state. Among the firms best known projects were the King Center, the HGEA Building, City Bank on Queen Street, the Hilo State Office Building, and the Astronomy and Plant Science Building. Charles K. C. Lee, whose firm Charles K. C. Lee & Associates, assisted on the project, was the second Chinese American to register as an architect in New York. In addition to designing many buildings throughout
the state, he chaired the United Nations School of Planning Commission for the Trust Territories of the Pacific in 1965. The buildings were named for Ernest Charles Webster (1883-1956) and Philip Edmund Spalding (1889-1968). Webster, a 1904 Yale graduate, became president of Kamehameha School 1914. Born in Litchfield Connecticut, he had his first work experience as a railway engineer, in 1925 becoming a professor of
mathematics and engineering at the University of Hawai‘i and then dean of undergraduate men, finally dean of student personnel. Spalding was born and raised in Honolulu, beginning his career with the Hawaii Pineapple Co. before moving on to Pacific Pineapple and the Molokai Ranch. His final career steps were the Cooke Trust and Hawaiian Electric Co., during which time he served as Chair of the Board of Regents (1943-1961).







Keller Hall,
once the home of the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computer Science (and the university’s computer system) was completed in 1959 for a cost of $632,211. Designed by local architect Clifford F. Young (1918-2011), the contract was completed by Edwin Mamoru Tani (1924-2014), a 1949 UH engineering school graduate. Both were war veterans and represented a new wave of Asian-Americans involved in the construction industry in Hawai‘i. Born in Honolulu and educated at the University of Michigan and M.I.T., Young was assisted by John H. McAuliffe (1916-1997), who had joined the older Young in 1958 to form McAuliffe, Young and Associates. Young was responsible for several noteworthy modern buildings in Honolulu and elsewhere in the state. These included the frame-fronted United Chinese Society Hall on King Street (1954), the United Church of Christ on Judd Street (1955), the Pi‘ikoi Parkway Building (1956), and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Community Church (1958).

The four-story concrete Keller Hall is distinguished by its paneled concrete cladding, its vertical aluminum fins, and its full-height stained-glass window by art professor Murray Turnbull (1919-2014) and his wife Phyllis. Notable for its bright modernist design, the windows also feature traditional lead cams—a method dating back to the middle ages. Turnbull, a professor in the university’s art department since 1954, would become a principal advocate for the University of Hawai‘i becoming an international place of learning; as acting dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, he helped lay the groundwork for the East-West Center.

Young, who was president of the Hawaii Chapter of the AIA in 1961, would make a lasting mark on the university when he and McAuliffe became the on-site architects for I. M. Pei’s East-West Center complex. His firm, soon renamed Young & Henderson, also became a training ground for a number of Hawai‘i architects, including modernist Warner Boone.

Keller Hall was named after Arthur Ripont Keller (1882-1961), an early professor of engineering at the University of Hawai‘i, and interim president in the early war years (1941-1943). Extremely active in university affairs, the young Keller had even joined the undermanned university football team in 1911. He would leave Hawai‘i to complete degrees at Harvard and M.I.T. (he held an undergraduate degree in engineering from Cornell and a law degree from the National University before first joining the faculty), returning to Honolulu following a tour of duty as an army captain in World War I to serve as the first dean of the College of Applied Sciences. Keller helped plan many of the buildings on campus, including the Engineering Quad (1915-1928), of which a single building remains. He also helped develop the drainage and flood control plan for the lower campus and the new mountainside campus for Kamehameha Schools.