Honolulu High-Capacity Rail Project

The Honolulu Rail Transit project connects commuters from East Kapolei through downtown to Ala Moana via 21 transit stops. Each station will included designated guideway columns that will feature large scale environmental graphics. These graphics will feature artwork grounded in the culture and history of the ahupua‘a it’s situated.

As a subconsultant to WCIT Architecture, DTL was tasked to provide cultural research and narratives that guided the design of these special pieces of artwork that will adorn designated columns that support the Honolulu Rail Guideway and its Stations. The columns are designed to reflect the richness of the history and culture of the place they are located along the rail route.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) found a new, artful way to honor the rich history of O’ahu and has completed its first embossed column as part of a series of special column designs connected with the project’s station development program.

All of the project’s 21 stations will have patterns unique to the area’s ahupuaa. The patterns are designed to tell the historic and cultural stories of each community where the stations are located.

The Ho‘opili Station columns were the first to be completed. The Ho‘opili embossed column tells the story of agriculture, which is deep-rooted in Ho‘opili’s history and one of our primary commitments at D.R. Horton Hawai‘i.

The pattern depicts the flow of wind, coral representing the foundation and the area’s beginnings, sea salt beds, and the symbolic first planting of the ulu tree that grew plentiful in this area. The design also incorporates rain and the sun as it rises over Pu‘uokapolei, which marked the seasons for planting and harvesting crops.

Each station from the west-side to the final station at Ala Moana Shopping Center has been carefully researched and designed by WCIT to tell the story of each ahupua‘a. Mele (songs), mo‘olelo (legends and stories), and wahi pana (storied places) all were used as sources for design inspiration for each column. This is is a perfect example of WCIT Architecture’s methodology and how we approach design as a whole.

  • Location: Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i
  • Client: HART
  • Program: Design guideway columns that will feature large scale environmental graphics
  • Status: Design

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