Home Pharmacy practice Building inspired by fire goddess wins award for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

Building inspired by fire goddess wins award for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

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The late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the college’s namesake, was the driving force behind the establishment of the school.

Vigorous Kīhoʻihoʻi, the new home of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, was recognized at the 25th Annual Kukulu Hale Awards, which honor excellence in Hawaii’s commercial real estate sector.

The two-story, 45,000 square foot structure completed in December 2019 received an award from NAIOP Hawaii in the category of public/government projects. Vigorous Kihoʻihoʻi houses lecture halls, pharmaceutical compounding labs, simulated pharmacy practice skills and dispensing labs, as well as meeting rooms and innovative spaces for the college.

“With its beautiful open design, Hale Kīhoʻihoʻi is a very welcoming place that offers so many great spaces for learning, research and educational collaboration,” said Miriam Mobley, DKICP acting dean. “The structure also represents a significant commitment and investment by the State of Hawaii at university and the training of health professionals.

With its beautiful open design, Hale Kīhoʻihoʻi is a very welcoming place that offers so many great spaces for learning, research and educational collaboration.
—Miriam Mobley

In ʻōlelo Hawaii (Hawaiian language), kīhoʻihoʻi refers to the rapid restoration of land after a lava flow. According to Hawaiian naming protocol, anything from this new building and the college it houses is intended to promote the restoration of Hawaii’s natural environment and its inhabitants.

Oʻahu-based company, WCIT The architecture has integrated Hawaiian culture and themes into the building’s modern design, from the undulating roofline that represents the goddess Pele and her lava shaping the landscape.
flux, to floor-to-ceiling interior murals that depict the blending of traditional and contemporary healing practices. The design of the building also followed LEED principles that called for environmentally friendly building materials and practices.

Hilo-based Isemoto Contracting served as the general contractor on the three-year construction project, which sits above the main uh Hilo campus and overlooks the city of Hilo and the bay.

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(Photo credit: Tracy Niimi)