Alberto Ricordi (D.Arch. ’15), Blanche Pope Elementary School, and the UHM School of Architecture were selected as recipients of the 2017 APA Hawaii Chapter Student Project, for the D.Arch. project “Ka Mala Lani: Re-Planning School Grounds for Growing Pono”. In his D.Arch. dissertation, Ricordi developed a participatory design method based on the school garden “Ka Mala Lani” concepts of “growing pono” (in righteousness) and pu’uhonua (place of refuge). The school’s largely Native Hawaiian student population often struggles in passive academic settings, but is able to find refuge and healing in the “Ka Mala Lani” garden. His master plan, consisting of a site plan and design solutions for Blanche Pope Elementary School, addresses not only environmental and resource management issues, but also social and educational goals for the school’s students. The school has successfully used the master plan as a tool to form community partnerships to implement three major projects, of which Ricordi has been an integral part of: a rain garden, led by Hui o Ko’olau Poko; a lilikoi hale and school garden improvements, through a Green Apple Day of Service event led by HHF Planners and USGBC Hawaii; and the “Garden of Eden” wellness pathway, led by PBR Hawaii and funded by Kaulunani Urban and Forestry Program. These projects and the master plan have been used by teachers to fulfill STEM curriculum standards and have the potential to strengthen community empowerment, identity, and self-sufficiency, bringing a UH SoA doctoral project from vision to reality for the benefit of local community.
DARCH and Community Projects PDF