Vacation Home


Bernie Baker Architect
Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Project name: Kailua, Hawaii Vacation Home
Project location: Kailua, Hawaii
Square footage (finished): 2,889 s.f.

The design focus was a modern, restorative and peaceful multigenerational family retreat that respects and complements the island nature and culture. The home was designed to maximize beach living experience, providing openness to views, privacy from neighbors and protection from wind, driving rain and the tropical sun. The design draws influence from indigenous tropical habitations. Main challenges surrounded the need to protect the owners from sometimes stormy, rainy, corrosive weather yet remain open to the ocean and views, all while maintaining privacy.

Exterior and interior materials were chosen at the onset of the design process. Consideration was made for protecting all wood products from insects. In addition, materials needed to be imported in a timely fashion, allowing for a continuous and effective construction effort. The U-shaped plan, along with a purposeful generous beach setback, helps establish privacy and enjoyment of the coastal setting. The public and private wings, and the resulting courtyard, are arranged to allow for large family gatherings as well as more intimate interactions.

The outreaching roof allows the house to be an open pavilion while providing protection from the tropical rains and sun. The converse interior roof is the dominant architectural element, contributing to a sense of habitation and allowing for natural ventilation.

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