the Colaborative Inc

Volcano House Hotel

Client: National Park Service

Site: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

The 1941 Volcano House, located at the rim of the Kilauea Caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is the last in a long history of guest accommodations that have served travelers at this location since the 1820s. The 1941 hotel was designed by Charles W. Dickey, a locally renowned architect, and is associated with George Lycurgus, a Greek entrepreneur central to the history of hostelry in Hawaii. The structure was built in the late “Rustic” style as defined by the National Park Service. “Rustic” or “Parkitecture” emphasized that the structure blend with the site or the contextual landscape, that natural local materials be primary architectural components, and that the structure reflect local cultural influences. Over the course of many decades, changes to the original structure altered the views from which the visitor could observe the volcano and also obscured the natural and manmade materials, which were chosen for their “local flavor.” The Collaborative, inc., in partnership with Bryce E. Uyehara, AIA, Inc., was selected by the National Park Service to complete a Historic Structures Report on the Volcano House. The history of the site and buildings were researched, along with background on the science and social perception of volcanoes to provide context for the report. A condition assessment was completed of all materials on the immediate site and on the building’s exterior and interior. Recommendations were made for materials conservation, for retention and recapture of the integrity of the structure, and for improved use of space within the original areas that, are more sensitive to the original intent of the architect.