Slaughterhouse Beach House

Lahaina, HI United States

Olson Kundig Architects, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects


Project Description

2011 RADA

Custom / More Than 3,000 Square Feet / Grand

When architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, sat down to design this Hawaii beach house, he faced a dual challenge. The owner had asked him to make the project as sturdy and low-maintenance as possible, because it would have to weather strong storms on its waterfront site. At the same time, the local climate is often mild, so Kundig wanted to open the home to the outdoors as much as he could. “The trick is, how do you do that with a building that has to be sealed?” he says.

He decided to take advantage of abundant natural breezes by strategically placing openings in the home’s corrugated metal roof. Rather than blowing into the house, trade winds sweep over the roof, creating a cooling vacuum that pulls air through the interiors. Kundig also separated the project into three structures, connecting them with covered walkways. The central portion features hydraulic window walls that, when raised, transform the building into an open-air pavilion.

Rammed-earth walls made with soil from the site help root the home in its location, as well as satisfying the need for durability. Their warm, variegated hues pick up the tones of the concrete, wood, and steel used throughout the project. “This house is just incredibly beautiful,” one judge said.


Project Details

Slaughterhouse Beach House
Shared by:
Project Team:
    Tom Kundig, Design Principal; Kirsten R. Murray, Principal.
  • General Contractor: Jim Bickford 
  • Project Manager: Steven Rainville 
  • Structural Engineer: Monte Clark 
  • Mechanical Engineer: Interface Engineering 
  • Wind Engineer: RWDI 
  • Photography: Benjamin Benschneider 
  • General Contractor: Jim Dow 
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Room Or Space:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    3,820 sq ft

Specified Products

Air Conditioning



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