Waipolu Gallery

Waipolu Gallery and Studio

The Waipolu Gallery is a project in Hawaii designed by Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), completed in 2010. Located on the island of Oahu, the private gallery and studio offers a view of the bay.

The building is clad in Dirty Penny™ Copper, a patinated surface whose refined tones will continue to evolve over time. Zahner is proud to note that the structure was awarded the North American Copper in Architecture award for 2010, as well as several awards for its design by the architects at BCJ.

The building houses the collection of a family's collection of post-World War II paintings and sculptures. An interior rotating wall conceals the storage space for this growing collection, allowing sculptures to be displayed on the clean wall which disguises this space.  The collection includes works by Jun Kaneko, John Chamberlain, Frank Stella and more.

Panoramic photo of the Waipolu Gallery and Residence during construction

Panoramic photo of the Waipolu Gallery and Studio during construction.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

“The biggest challenge was to make this a great place – to be brilliant to the art for this client, in this place. I thrive on the challenge and the opportunity to make a great building and an extraordinary place. One of the great pleasures in architecture is to be able to reflect people with places and then — how to make things – how to shape them.”
— Peter Bohlin

The gallery's proximity to the Pacific Ocean to the south and Diamond Head to the northeast afford views from the building itself, shown above (during construction).

It’s more than that, though, actually. “It’s a rich and powerful place for art,” Bohlin says.

Photo of the copper window framing for Waipolu Gallery during construction

Detail of the copper window framing for Waipolu Gallery during construction.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Photo of the Waipolu facade during construction

Photo of the Waipolu Gallery facade during construction.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Detail of the custom patina on copper panels for the Waipolu Gallery

Detail of the custom patina on copper panels for the Waipolu Gallery.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Detail of the interior metalwork, fabricated by Zahner for the Waipolu Gallery

Detail of the interior metalwork, fabricated by Zahner for the Waipolu Gallery.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

The above photos reveal the artistic variance of Zahner's Dirty Penny™ Patina on copper. The patina is expected to go through a stage of darkening as the tones even out. Over the course of many years, it will eventually go green, at first in small streaks along its edges, and eventually over the entirety of its surface.

“Malleability of the material was important due to the fact that the installation was occurring at a great distance from the fabrication shop and some shaping in the field was necessary,” said the project architect, Campie Ellis. “We also liked the idea that the building’s coloring would change over time, creating an evolving work or sculpture.”

These photos were taken during the project's construction. To see recent photos of the patina, please visit the project's page on Bohlin Cywinski Jackson website.

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