Major Development Concepts and Themes

LaiOpua great room concept

Great Room Conceptual Rendering

Through charrettes held in November and December of 2007, and August of 2010, the partners have articulated a vision of a community center that is built on the cultural and spiritual values inherent in the land and people of Hawai‘i which serves as a pu‘uhonua for those in need.

1. Spiritual and Cultural Values
Values of aloha, mālama ‘āina, pono, and lōkahi serve as the guiding principles in the vision for the La‘i‘Ōpua Community Center. Taking care of the land, water, air, and each other in spiritual harmony and creating opportunities for healthy lifestyles, both mentally and physically, are integral for the Community Center. Design integrated with the landscape, offering views of the ocean and connection to the wind and the sun are vital to the complex.

2. Pu‘uhonua
Traditionally, a pu‘uhonua is a place of cultural agreement, allowing one to make right what was previously in discord. The Community Center is envisioned as a pu‘uhonua, where one is safe, welcome to reflect, receive help, and reconnect again with family and community. Programs will offer health and wellness services in western practice and traditional means for transformation. Walking paths integrated with the natural landscape will allows for outdoor connection, reflection, and healing. During natural disasters, the Community Center can serve as a safe place of refuge and shelter.

3. Interconnectedness and Village Setting
Being respectful, interconnected, restored, useful, and caring within the community are core cultural values. Located at the heart of La‘i‘Ōpua, the Community Center is a place for residents to gather, celebrate, and enjoy the company of the community members. Pedestrian connections from the Community Center to the surrounding residential areas and to the Kealakehe High School facilities will broaden existing services to the community. Garden spaces will create scale and promote activities for healthy lifestyles. Multigenerational activities are key and program spaces will allow and foster interactions.