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The 20 Best Residential Architects in Hawaii

16 Min Read

Featured image is a project by Arquitectura, LLC.

For tourists, Hawaii is a must-visit, dreamy paradise in western United States. For locals and those who finally decided to settle and build their family on these islands, it’s home. Some of the best residential architects in Hawaii are actively helping locals and newcomers find their permanent place here by building and renovating customized, airy spaces that help Hawaii feel like home. 

The architectural firms, architects, and designers featured below are the very best in the state. These companies have worked with developers and luxury homeowners to conceptualize and design indoor, outdoor, and whole-home spaces that celebrate both modern and traditional elements. These professionals are recognized for their sustainable design solutions, architectural excellence, and stellar customer service.

Peter Vincent Architects

1021 Smith St. Penthouse 4th Flr. Entrance, Honolulu, HI 96817

Peter Vincent Architects was commissioned to lead the redesign of a Kailua home, a work that later won the Building Industry Association (BIA) Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards Overall Grand Award. The home’s design centered around its goal of providing coastal-inspired architecture for beachside living. Contemporary in form with its expansive, open-air layout, it features full-glass entryways and tall glass windows. Almost every part of the room receives ample daylight and a full view of its surrounding seascapes. Its outdoor seating and second-level balcony enhance connection with nature. 

For almost three decades, the firm has been producing homes that celebrate the best of traditional regional architecture and contemporary designs. Peter N. Vincent, FAIA, NCARB, heads the firm’s multi-awarded practice, a practice that has delivered projects that now grace the pages of Hawaii Home + Remodeling, Pacific Business News, Builder Magazine, and Building Industry Hawaii, among others.

Long & Associates AIA

1100 Alakea St. 3rd Flr. Atrium, Honolulu, HI 96813

Long & Associates AIA designed a custom luxury home that put emphasis on the grand, expansive interiors of contemporary architecture.. Extended eaves and flat-roofed lanais provide the needed shading for its outdoor patio and seating. The home’s family room, set in a warm color palette, is structurally connected with its outdoor infinity pool through sliding glass windows and full-glass walls. 

The firm’s design-build nature allows it to produce detail-oriented and client-focused projects for the luxury residential sector. Principal architect Jeffrey T. Long, AIA, developed this delivery method that has produced projects featured by publications and popular media in recent years, including real estate and home improvement channel HGTV. The firm’s 41+ years of work are regularly commended by the BIA through its annual Renaissance Awards.

WhiteSpace Architects

2051 Young St. Suite #200, Honolulu, HI 96826

WhiteSpace Architects incorporated Hawaiian architecture with the forms and functionality of contemporary design to produce the Diamond Head Residence. The home’s signature features include the overall warm palette for its interiors as well as its open space layout that provides smooth navigation and access through the house. Massive, full-glass windows and sliding doors open up the indoor spaces to blend and connect with the lush landscaping outdoors. Providing shading and ample ventilation are wide eaves and lanai roofing.

Modern, contemporary, colonial, and coastal style residences dominate the firm’s almost four-decade-old portfolio. Heading the American Institute of Architect (AIA) and US Green Building Council (USGBC)-recognized architecture and sustainable design practice are Philip “Pip” White, AIA and Laura Ayers, AIA, LEED AP.

de Reus Architects

65-1291 Kawaihae Road Suite 105, Kamuela, ​HI 96743

de Reus Architects was tasked with the design of the Kohanaiki Residence, a five-bedroom home that is blessed with \ majestic views of the region’s prime coastline and the famous Pine Trees surf break. Commissioned by Kohanaiki Development, the design provides shading and natural ventilation, thanks to the large lanais roofing and broad eaves perfect for the tropical climate. The choice of natural, low-maintenance materials also enhanced the room’s durability. 

Since the firm’s establishment over 16 years ago, it has focused on hospitality and high-end custom residential markets. Mark Edison de Reus, AIA, provides full-service design and planning services. Its most recent projects won accolades from the region’s design community. These include Ocean Home Magazine’s ranking for multiple Top 50 Coastal Architect and ASID Hawaii Design Excellence Awards, Award of Honor, Hospitality category.

Minatoishi Architects 

1003 Bishop St. Suite #1975, Honolulu, HI 96813

Minatoishi Architects is known for its wide spectrum of architectural designs as well as efforts in historic preservation. These services are catered to the residential and commercial sectors, especially for interior design, graphics, and building reuse work. The firm has been in practice for over 18 years, and is currently headed by Lorraine Minatoishi, PhD, AIA, LEED AP. Under her leadership, the firm has created many beautiful, award-winning designs.

One example that captures the firm’s range as a designer was for a Kahala Home, built during the 1930s by the renowned architect Claude Albon Stiehl. The firm was hired to do restoration and transformation work, and it delivered results that stayed true to the home’s original charm. The firm added an open-space family room with a wing that connects to a private garden. The kitchen was also expanded to accommodate family recreation and guest entertainment.

Nishikawa Architects

2145 Wells St. Suite #301, Wailuku, HI 96793

Nishikawa Architects is a leading architectural company that has helped homeowners design the homes of their dreams. For a Maui home, for example, the firm worked with the project owners to deliver the Kapalua – Hale O Ikena Residence, a modern-inspired home that draws its inspiration from the beige stucco cladding, clay tile roofing, and thick walls of European architecture. The home was designed to be one with the natural environment, with open spaces and entryways that fully embrace the Pacific Ocean views in front of it while also adding coziness and privacy through its large expansive interiors splashed with warm color palettes.

As an AIA-affiliated company, the firm is a highly commended designer among the architecture and building community. In recent years, the firm’s work has constantly earned the BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards. Wall Street Journal also featured one of the firm’s works in its “House of the Day” section.

Prowork Pacific Inc.

100 N Beretania Suite #114, Honolulu, HI 96817

Prowork Pacific Inc. completed the residential design work for a luxury residential property in Kai. The Continental Hale Residence included the addition, alteration, and complete transformation of an existing family home. The firm incorporated modern details into the work, including full glass sliding doors, multiple outdoor seating, and a deck and observatory seating that wraps around the house. The flat roofing of the home and its asymmetrical geometry add character to the place and allows it to strategically fit into the terrain. The home has a full view of the ocean and displays a contemporary-traditional design. 

Established in 2013, the company takes on mid-range and high-end residential spaces like this featured work. Under the direction of Jimmy Wu, AlA, LEED AP, the firm delivers high-quality architecture and sustainable design solutions.

Benjamin Woo Architects

600 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite #402B, Honolulu, HI 96813

Benjamin Woo Architects is a preferred residential architect for developers, custom home project owners, and speculative home builders. In recent years, for instance, the firm worked with DR Horton to complete a planned community that features traditional-modern homes. The project involved the architecture and planning of single-family residences and duplex homes that follow the region’s most stringent housing standards. The firm’s comprehensive services also covered the project’s permitting process and construction administration. 

As an architect for the residential market, the firm is a recipient of multiple housing awards, including the IIDA Hawaii Pacific Chapter Ho’ohuli Awards and the Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award. Many of its projects are featured on publications such as the Metropolis Magazine and Dezeen, to name a few. Principal architect Benjamin Woo, RA, LEED AP, founded the firm over 21 years ago.


111 S King St. Suite #170, Honolulu, HI 96813

G70 is one of the leading architects that has worked with developers and homeowners to produce custom homes in the region. The Maluhia at Wailea Hale Mohalu project, for instance, is a multi-awarded architecture and interior design project that features fourteen beach homes. These residences are located along the coastline, with clear views of the ocean. Every home is inspired by how contemporary architecture elements allow open, expansive spaces that provide connection to the outdoors while still maintaining privacy. The dining rooms have easy access and openness to the landscaping. In order to blend well with its surrounding environment, the firm chose coral as the main material hue and chose cladding for its exterior walls. 

The project won both the ASID Hale Pu’u Hale and Hale Ola Hale Awards of Excellence recognition. Hotel Management, Hawaii News Now, and Honolulu Magazine, among other names, featured many of the firm’s projects.

Geoffrey Lewis Architects

3927 Old Pali Rd., Honolulu, HI 96817

Geoffrey Lewis Architects headed the transformation work for the Old Mokapu Way Residence, a Kailua home that celebrates the lifestyle that the island is known for. The design was centered around providing spaces for casual indoor and outdoor interactions, taking advantage of Kailua’s beachside community. In addition, the home’s unique lot configuration provided opportunities for a more creative blueprint. The finished layout highlights the focal point of the home: an Island style pavilion located on the lot’s rear corner. The multi-structured home also has an informal great room, a sitting porch, and a front yard for entertaining guests.

Hawaii Business Magazine, Pacific Business News, Hawaii Magazine, and Big Island Now have featured many of the firm’s thoughtfully designed spaces. Under the leadership of AIA-recognized architect and former AIA President, Honolulu Chapter Geoffrey Lewis, AIA, the firm continues to beautifully shape the region’s architectural landscape.

Paul Donoho Architect

P.O. Box 1727, Honokaa, HI 96727

Paul Donoho Architect conceptualized a 5,982-square-foot custom home in Kohala Ranch, an upland area that has an unobstructed view of the several miles of blue ocean. The home’s contemporary look accommodates the property’s complex topography. The same style offered a clear connection, visually and structurally, to the surrounding landscape. As a ranch-inspired design, the resulting hybrid home provides a more light, approachable, and familiar atmosphere for the client’s big and growing family.

Since the firm’s inception 19 years ago, it has produced projects that posed the same level of challenge with topography and customization. Solving these problems and creating client-focused design ideas is principal architect Paul M. Donoho, AIA. Donoho’s work has been recognized for years. Under his leadership, the Pacific Business News named the firm among its Top Neighbor Island Architecture Firms in 2012-2021. In 2018, Historic Hawaii Foundation recognized the company with the Preservation Honor Award.

Hawaii Island Architects, LLC

Keauhou, HI 96739

Hawaii Island Architects, LLC was the head architect for a luxury custom home that features luxury finishes and fixtures. The Keauhou Modern home is a blend of classic, traditional interiors and modern forms. The highlight of the home is an outdoor swimming pool that can be accessed through sliding glass doors from almost every part of the home. Blurring the line between indoors and outdoors allows an interesting mix of visuals: the island’s outdoor cool tropical atmosphere to the warmth of custom details and lighting throughout the home’s interior. 

The firm is also well versed in other architectural styles, including contemporary, colonial, and Hawaiian vernacular architecture. For over 44 years, principal Roger Brasel, AIA has developed a design practice that puts emphasis on details that represent each client’s dream home.

Tom Hackett

3602 Keaolele Place, Honolulu, HI 96816

Tom Hackett was the architect for the Kahala Home project, a residence that is designed to take in the breeze and views of the ocean. What’s interesting about its architecture is that nearly every room in the house gets a full view of the seascape. Perched on a rocky hillside, the site introduced a challenge to the designer and builder. The project included building a luxury residence that features a level backyard dotted with tropical plantings and an outdoor swimming pool. The home’s overall style incorporates modern forms and elements, such as full glass windows and floor-to-ceiling glass entryways, but it also includes traditional wood materials. 

The firm’s portfolio is filled with complex and structurally challenging projects that have won awards from the BIA. Tom founded the firm over five decades ago and has an extensive background in architecture and environmental design.

Welch and Weeks LLC Architects

4th Fl. Aloha Tower 155 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813

Welch and Weeks LLC Architects was the lead architect for the remodeling efforts of a Hawaiian home that later became a multi-awarded work. The Kahala Beach Residence earned the Building Industry Awards (BIA) Renaissance Building and Remodeling Overall Grand Award Winner. The transformation realigned the home’s architecture to the elements of the island’s signature beachside community architecture. The charms of Old Hawaiian Architecture are reignited through modern materials including concrete, engineered wood flooring and fiberglass windows. The home’s overall structure allows ample ventilation and was designed to direct trade winds around the interiors. 

The firm has had many years of work and thousands of success projects. Leading the firm’s 2+ decades of notable practice are partner architects Darrell Welch, Jr. and Victor Weeks.

Weile Ltd.

6312 Pohoiki Pl., Honolulu, HI 96825

Weile Ltd. brought together the nostalgic appeal of traditional forms and the functionality of contemporary materials when it designed the Hawaii Kai Residence. The firm’s design-build nature allowed it to take part in every part of the process, from conceptualization through completion. This work showcased the firm’s signature contemporary style by connecting the main areas of the home to the landscape. The outbuilding is supported by tapered columns and base masonry, both of which are common in traditional craftsman architecture. This area is accessed through floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. Natural light from the outside comes in through large windows and doors and illuminates the home’s interior spaces. 

Felix Lowell Weile, AIA designed and built this featured project. Weile is also a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). His hands-on practice has resulted in a long list of highly commended homes across the region. He founded the firm over 30 years ago.

Pro Draft, Inc

38 Kaiea Pl. Suite #1, Paia, HI 96779

Pro Draft was the chosen designer for Mokuleia Place, one of the luxury plantation estates in Kapalua Bay. The home covers 7,286 square feet of living spaces and accommodates four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, three half-bathrooms, a theater, gaming rooms, a fitness room, a game room, and a home office. These high-end amenities are just half of what this residence offers. An outdoor infinity pool that looks out at the sea makes this property priceless. The home is also perched on a hillside that features lush landscaping of grass, a variety of trees, and a charming brick pavement.

For over 18 years, the company has partnered with the region’s most discriminating homeowners to produce projects that embody their most personal design and structural preferences. Robert Robinson, Associate AIA, founded the firm with the goal of translating design concepts into feasible architectures.

Arquitectura, LLC

1325 Mo’ohele St., Waikapu, HI 96793

Arquitectura, LLC led the design efforts for the Felder Residence, a contemporary-inspired home that features interesting geometries and forms. The home’s half-arched structure makes its facade unforgettable. The same pattern is mimicked by the other portions of its roofing. Breaking the curves are the angles its thick walls set in a full white siding. Its interiors follow the same color theme and enjoy ample daylight through the home’s expansive windows and openings. Entryways are operable and can easily open up to connect indoor spaces with the outdoor pool and seating. 

Delivering projects that carry the same elegance and custom designs is principal architect Marc Taron, AIA. Through Taron’s architecture and planning services and the level of expertise that he has practiced for over 16 years, the firm is able to take on complex work for the luxury residential sector.

Eiserloh Architects

820 W Hind Dr. #240139, Honolulu, HI 96824

Eiserloh Architects was commissioned to provide architectural services for this Kahala Residence, a Tropical Mediterranean home that responds to the environment with high ceiling, deep roof overhangs and large covered lanais with walls made up entirely of sliding glass doors, offering a seamless transition between the inside and exterior.  These key elements that protect the building from the hot tropical sun and allow the gentle breezes to flow throughout the interiors combined with the natural stone and hardwood finishes encourage a lifestyle that is connected closer to nature and in harmony with the islands.  

For over 30 years in practice, the firms’ goal has been to reflect the dreams and ideals of the clients in the design process and discover a unique original solution for each Project. Attention to tight budget control, detailed project management and exacting standards of quality contribute to the overall success and customer satisfaction. Kristan V. Eiserloh, AIA heads the firm’s practice and looks forward to establishing the next rewarding design alliance.

Geesey Architects LLC

74-5035 Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy. Suite #3206, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Geesey Architects LLC designed the Kakapa Bay House, a contemporary residence that displays a smooth indoor-outdoor transition. Its mono-pitched roofing gives way to full-glass clerestory windows. Its main living spaces face an outdoor pool. Outdoor seating, connected through a sliding entryway, blurs the line between the interior and exterior spaces. Wood siding and furnishing, metal framing, and other natural materials dominate the home.

Since the firm was founded over 22 years ago, it has delivered modern and contemporary homes to the high-end sector. Principal architects and co-founders Blanka Geesey and Peter Geesey, AIA established the company after years of working in Europe.

Lapis Hawaii

1188 Bishop St. #2506, Honolulu, HI 96813

Lapis Hawaii designed a custom home in Kahala, an upscale neighborhood that enjoys the seaside calmness of secluded beaches. The home’s design is meant to take advantage of its location as a corner property and the visual openness that it offers. This factor also resulted in an interesting form, a circular kitchen that provides a place for food preparation and interaction. The overall design focused on its interior-exterior space connection that mimics Hawaii’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle. 

For over two decades, the firm has delivered the same thoughtfully-designed residential and commercial spaces under the guidance of principal architect John August Black, AIA. The company offers both architecture and interior design services.