A strange precedent is persisting in Hawaii—snow-shedding roofs perch on tropical shelters as unused attics, walls frame expression more than buffer climate, houses are weighted rather than tied to foundations—architectural features that originally spoke a colonial dialect have become expressively mute. The persistent copy and paste of the colonial house is repeated so relentlessly that specific meaning is no longer held through architecture and, rather, lies somewhere in this stubborn redundancy.
The lanai, as an architectural element, has not been repeated but translated, eventually abbreviated in both form and meaning to a porch or balcony. Absent of an archetypal predecessor, the lanai differentiates from the architectural characteristics of the stubborn colonial house as the space lacks any agenda when regarding typical spatial metrics—form, program, environment.
If the cultural preservation of the stubborn house indicates that meaning in architecture, within the context of contemporary Hawaii, is derived from the image, then this project is to work through a process of image making as a means to inscribe meaning back into the domestic space. The construction of an image of the lanai will work as a testing ground for alternatives of embedding signification, without the crutch of a preexisting language structure, into the traditional architecture of Hawaii.