All geared up

Place Downtown
Text Summit Staff

One of the marks of an advanced society is whether its cities are designed to encourage social interaction through the creation of public spaces. Parks of all kinds help foster community-building and can lead to cross-disciplinary discussions that mingle ideas and world views and help move us collectively forward.

After 70 years in business, AHL (formerly Architects Hawaii Ltd.) recognizes the need for spaces like these. In celebration of the anniversary, the firm turned to the creative talent of its employees, creating a company-wide contest calling for designs for a pop-up public space. The winning design, dubbed “Pedal Parc,” is rooted in AHL’s commitment to sustainability and is completely constructed from repurposed materials, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood or materials that can easily be repurposed.

Pedal Parc, which is located in front of the Dillingham Transportation building, is open for public use from October 3 until October 18, 2016. The park includes free Wi-Fi and stationary bikes that users can use to recharge their electronic devices.

“The nucleus of AHL is our people who innovate and create, so to celebrate our anniversary we turned to our many creative designers to come up with a unique idea,” says Bettina Mehnert, President and CEO of AHL. “The enthusiasm was tremendous, and choosing one design was difficult. But we all love 'Pedal Parc' for its design, commitment to sustainability and promotion of active lifestyles and good health.” Mehnert was recently selected, along with just 148 other architects, as a fellow by the American Institute of Architects.

The winning Pedal Parc design comes from AHL designers, Ina C. Wong and Rebecca M. Weatherford. Wong joined AHL in 2012 and has worked on some of the firm's most notable projects including Joint Traffic Management Center; Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa; and DeBartolo’s Ka Makana Aliʻi Shopping Center. Weatherford joined AHL in 2013 and has architectural experience in master planning, residential, educational and commercial enterprises, including the Palama Settlement Master Plan, a 1 percent AHL pro-bono project.

“Sustainability and alternative transportation are the two main themes of the Pedal Parc project,” says Weatherford. “When we envisioned a modern sustainable lifestyle, the image that came to our minds was relaxing in nature next to a bicycle camping trailer. We wanted to provide access to modern conveniences such as electricity and mobility, but without reliance on fossil fuels or the power grid.”

Two of the three seating modules in Pedal Parc are designed after mobile bicycle sidecars and can be attached to a bicycle for easy transport.

“Pedal Parc is constructed primarily out of recycled materials including shipping pallets and recycled siding,” says Wong. “Any new lumber we used is FSC-certified or sustainably harvested. In addition, the Pedal Parc can be broken down easily for transport to different sites allowing for continual re-use after this installation.”

Architects Hawaii also announced today their official rebrand as AHL. “Firms evolve over time and our current logo no longer looks like who we are. We wanted something fresh, reflecting our modern design thinking and our company culture,” Mehnert says. “We are proud of our history, visible in Honolulu's skyline, but our emphasis is on the future.”

AHL is a multi-disciplinary architectural firm with local and international experience in architecture, planning, interior and sustainable design. The firm provides services for projects in all market sectors including educational, hospitality, retail, multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, military and healthcare.

Located in downtown Honolulu, AHL is one of the largest architectural firms within Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region. The firm’s portfolio of award-winning projects extends around the globe. Recent notable projects include Walgreens Ke‘eaumoku, which recently won an international award for retail design from the International Council on Shopping Centers; Symphony Honolulu; Windward Community College Library Learning Commons; Aulani - A Disney Resort and Spa; Diagnostic Laboratory Services; FBI Honolulu Field Office; Pacifica Honolulu; and the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex.


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