Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, Kaiwakiloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center

Project Overview

The Kaiwakiloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center was first envisioned by former Kamehameha trustee Myron “Pinky” Thompson in 1992 as a place where Hawaiians could come together to learn, celebrate, and perpetuate their rich ancestral culture. The 20,000-square-foot, two-story facility was constructed on a 1.63-acre site. The Myron Pinky Thompson Hale contains the Hale Mana, the administrative center with offices, a multimedia exhibit room, and multipurpose rooms. The Ululani Hale contains the Hale Aha, a multipurpose assembly hall with capacity for 450 people, classrooms, and a commercial kitchen. The facilities overlook the Kukulu O Kahiki, an open artificial turf courtyard.

Nordic PCL encountered logistical challenges, from unforeseen conditions to working on an active campus with over 3,000 students, that required detailed communication about road and utility shutdowns.

Building Kaiwakiloumoku required excavating 15,000 cubic yards of extremely hard “blue rock” and earth from the sloped jobsite for six months during the rainy season. The mass excavation of the hillside needed to be complete before any major work could begin on the building due to the limited laydown area.

During the hillside excavation, an unexpected 30-foot-high area of instability was discovered, which required building a whole new retaining wall. Nordic PCL provided an innovative suggestion, using insulated concrete forms (ICF) to reduce the costs associated with this additional work. Since ICF can remain in place after use, the project team could build the wall from one side alone, eliminating additional excavation and backfill work when removing traditional cast-in-place forms. After the concrete was poured, the front face of the ICF blocks was removed and shotcrete was applied over the wall for a natural rock look.


Trustees of the Estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop dba Kamehameha Schools
Honolulu, HI
Honolulu – Buildings Construction
Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.
Convention Centers/Religious Facilities, Education, Sports and Entertainment
General Contracting


2013 Build Hawaii Award of Excellence - Building Construction $10-$25 million - GCA of Hawaii

2014 Award of Merit - AIA Honolulu Chapter