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Hawaiian H; this H-shaped house is clean and spacious.

This H-shaped house is clean and spacious. It's also economical, thanks to simple materials

A tight budget always imposes restrictions on an architect. But the clean lines and spacious air of this three-bedroom house give no sense of fiscal stricture. Although the house is on a sloping lot on the dry side of the island of Hawaii, it has a plan and features that could work just as well in many other Western locations.

To stay within the budget, economical building materials such as stucco and asphalt shingles and off-the-shelf windows and doors were used on the exterior. Inside, an open floor plan with a minimum of dividing walls kept framing costs low.

The H-shaped plan accomplishes two goals: it opens the house to the outdoors and separates living areas from sleeping quarters. In one leg, the living room, a dining area, and the kitchen line up. The master bedroom, two baths, and a second bedroom fill the other leg. A third bedroom, bath, and the entry hall occupy the connecting spine. Following the slope of the lot, both the master bedroom and living room step down from the rest of the house and enjoy tall peaked volumes.

The arid site and occasional strong trade winds from the ocean also influenced the design. Because of the low annual rainfall, tbe house did not require gutters or shutters, so the roof line and walls could stay clean and crisp-edged. To catch prevailing winds, louvered windows open above and below the large fixed panes that run across the rear and side walls.

To make the 16-foot-wide living room and bedroom wings seem broader, the rooms' corners are merely butted panes of glass. Roof loads above the corner windows are picked up by beams cantilevered from support posts.

Outside, on the downslope side, an L-shaped deck partially fills the area between the living and bedroom wings; a small balcony perches in front of tbe master bedroom. These decks, like the living and bedroom wings, sit on tall posts with angled bracing.

Few windows face the entry side of the house, so views are directed away from the neighboring houses and toward the ocean. A separate garage offers further screening.

Architects George Heneghan Associates designed the house for owners Winona and Charles Park.
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Date:May 1, 1989
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