A series of local architecture events wraps up this week with a documentary film screening in Kakaako, and an evening of architecture company open houses.
The middle of April brings National Architecture Week, but AIA Honolulu, the Oahu chapter of the American Institute of Architects, celebrates the profession for the entire month. There are more than 800 members of AIA Honolulu, which traces its roots back to 1926.
While Honolulu’s skyline is dominated by high-rise condominiums and hotels today, you can still find evidence of the golden years of Hawaii architecture. The 1950s and 1960s saw the rise of “tropical modernism,” and renown architect Vladimir Ossipoff and his “war on ugliness.” You can still tour many of the city’s bright spots via AIA Honolulu’s walking tours.
On Thursday, AIA Honolulu and Interisland Terminal are hosting a screening of the documentary “Gray Matters,” which tells the story of Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray. Though she is perhaps best known for designing now-familiar furniture pieces like the Bibendium chair and the E-1027 table, Gray started exploring architecture in the 1920s. Now she is known as a pioneer of the “modern movement” in architecture, a style that can still be seen in Hawaiian architecture.
The film, released last year, was directed by Marco Orsini.
“With the freedom to film the exhibits brought together at both museums as well as exceptional access to the National Museum of Ireland, I have been able to amass film on Eileen Gray’s collection never [seen] before on film and arguably impossible access so easily ever again,” he writes. “I have had the opportunity to visit and interview all of the world’s experts in the many fields the work of Eileen Gray spans, all of whom agreed to share their thoughts on the woman, her life, her works, her design and her architectural influence on camera.”
The documentary film night will take place at Kakaako Agora (441 Cooke Street) at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. There is a $5 suggested donation — AIA Honolulu is a 501(c)6 non-profit corporation — and there will be food and drinks available for purchase.
The next day — which admittedly falls in the month of May — there will be a free Downtown Honolulu Architecture Firm Crawl. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the public can walk or drive around town and visit several local architecture companies.