Spotlight On Contemporary Island Architecture – Kahala

A rare opportunity has become available in Kahala to acquire a unique custom home designed by an award-winning architect. Located at 4767 Farmers Road and offered by Realtor Jacqueline Marie Phillips of The Millharbour Group, Inc., the house has a contemporary Japanese theme with gardens and rockscape gracing the first level living space. The 8,449 square foot lot is fully rock-walled, landscaped for privacy, and incorporates a 38 foot swimming pool and 3 car garage. The 5,955 square foot, 5 bedroom, 5-1/2 bath, 2-story house features an elevator, rooms with 10 to 13 foot ceilings, and a contemporary Italian kitchen with 18 foot island by Snaidero. Home electronics include a video surveillance camera system, full security system, built-in speakers, structured wiring for telephone, cable, internet, and computerized home automation system controlling the lights. “The numerous features and amenities are just part of the story…what can’t be emphasized enough is the emotional aspect of the unique spaces created by the architect,” Phillips said. She is offering the property at $4,395,000 and showing it by appointment.

Design Statement

Site planning. The home is in a corner location. Kahala has a wide front setback requirement so by placing the house toward the rear property lines, the front yard setbacks were able to be included in the garden area. By building a rock wall around the front yard, privacy is ensured.

Exterior design. Kahala has a 25-foot height limit so a combination of sloped and flat roofs were incorporated in the exterior design; the sloped roof in the single story area and the flat roof in the two-story area where I was able to have 10-foot ceilings throughout; the living room has a 13-foot ceiling. Metal roofing is used in the sloped roof to keep the Island flavor. The flat roofs have parapets to conceal the future installation of solar panels, and a total of approximately 80 panels can be accommodated.

House construction. Steel framing is used throughout to guard against termites and vinyl windows are used to protect against the ocean elements. A home automation lighting system was designed to facilitate the light control for the large living area and an elevator guarantees total accessibility. Air conditioning includes 4 central A/C units and 2 splits systems while all bedrooms and family room have ceiling fans also. A three-car garage keeps cars off the street. A 320-amp electrical service provides for all future power requirements.

Design philosophy. All the features of a house should contribute to and promote the enjoyment of the living spaces. The kitchen is usually the center of home and entertainment activities, so we installed an 18-foot long island, for serving and dining, which is the centerpiece in the kitchen together with a family room area. A separation dining room with floor hugging windows ensures privacy while allowing views of the water stream meandering by. A freeform pool surrounded by a Japanese garden is the focal point of the lanai which, when the sliding doors are fully opened, promotes the indoor-outdoor living atmosphere of the tropics. A study with tatami mats and shoji doors also open onto the pool-garden. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. —Tony Ngai

A. K. Ngai, Architect

Tony Ngai is Shanghainese and was born and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. He graduated from St. Joseph’s College, an international school in Yokohama, and then attended Tulane University in aeronautical / Mechanical Engineering for a year before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley to study architecture.

A builder and a licensed architect for more than 39 years, Ngai was the founder and Principal of A.K. Ngai & Associates, Hollywood, California. He later became the Executive Vice President and Director of Computer-Aided Design, at Leidenfrost/ Horwitz & Associates, a 120 person Los Angeles architectural firm which acquired A.K. Ngai & Associates, Inc. in 1985.

In 1990, Ngai again formed his own firm, A.K. Ngai, Architect, specializing in the high-end luxury residential market and commercial interiors. His projects range from ocean front residences in the Bahamas and Mediterranean villas on the Gulf Coast of Florida to contemporary Japanese influenced estates in the hills south of San Francisco to estates in Kahala and hilltop residences overlooking the ocean in Hawaii.

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