East Hawaii News

Building Design Wins Award For UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy

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Hale Kīhoʻihoʻi, the new home of UH-Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. (Photos by Tracy Niimi)

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo building inspired by Pele herself has earned recognition from the state’s commercial real estate industry.

Hale Kīhoʻihoʻi, the new home of UH-Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, was honored during the 25th annual Kukulu Hale Awards. The 45,000-square foot, two-story structure received an award from NAIOP Hawaiʻi in the public/government project category.

“With its wonderful open design, Hale Kīhoʻihoʻi is a very welcoming place that provides so many great spaces for learning, research and educational collaboration,” Miriam Mobley, interim dean of the pharmacy school, said in a press release. “The structure also represents a significant commitment and investment by the state of Hawaiʻi in the university and the education of healthcare professionals.”


In ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, kīhoʻihoʻi refers to the quick restoration of land after a lava flow. According to Hawaiian naming protocol, everything coming from this new building, and the college it houses, is intended to promote restoration of Hawaiʻi’s natural environment and its people.

The building, located above the main UH-Hilo campus, overlooking Hilo and Hilo Bay, houses lecture halls, pharmacy compounding laboratories, simulated pharmacy practice skills and dispensing labs and meeting rooms and spaces for the college.

Oʻahu-based WCIT Architecture incorporated Hawaiian culture and themes into the building’s design, including the undulating roof line that represents Pele and her land-shaping powers to interior murals depicting the blending of traditional and contemporary healing practices. The building’s design also incorporated environmentally friendly materials and building practices.


Hilo-based Isemoto Contracting served as general contractor for the building project.

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