Aloha Donald W.Y. Goo, FAIA (1934-2022)

Don Goo is a well-known name in the School of Architecture, with his long and close association.  He was a deep-rooted member of the Dean’s Advisory Council contributing visionary outlooks for the school’s future.  In 2015, as one of the founders of the Dean’s Advancement Fund, he and his colleagues reached out into the professional community to fundraise in support of growing and strengthening the architecture program.  He was a former professor and director of the Architectural Practicum program.  In 2010, he and his wife Laura, established  the endowed School of Architecture Practicum Fund.  This account began as seed funding for the Practicum Studio program providing financial assistance to students attending studios nationally or abroad.  Today, awards are given to graduate students enrolled in the Praxis intern spring course for the top three research project presentations based on originality, innovation, knowledge and practice advancement, clarity in methodology, process and content.

In 1959, Mr. Goo joined the Wimberly and Cook architecture firm, becoming a partner and soon became president of WATG as known today, a Hawaiʻi-based global design and planning firm.  This firm grew nationally and internationally.  Some of the known local project contributions are design projects for Hawaii Convention Center (1997), Hilton Hawaiian Village master plan (1982-88), Bank of Hawaiʻi Waikiki (1966), Sheraton Maui (1960), additions to the Royal Hawaiian Resort (1946), Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Turtle Bay Hotel. He elevated from  partner, president, rose to CEO and Chairman before his retirement (2007) at WATG.  He continued as a consultant with focus on providing development strategies for recreating existing resorts.

Recognizing his significant contributions he made to the profession and society, as well as his design excellence on a national level, he was elevated in the AIA Fellowship program and received his FAIA designation in 1988.  Mr. Goo received the AIA Hawaiʻi State Council 2015 Medal of Honor, honoring and recognizing his efforts to significantly advance the architecture profession, and through his leadership he inspired fellow practioners.

After graduating from Roosevelt High School, he attended UH Mānoa from 1951-53, the University of Michigan from 1953-54 and received a bachelors’ degree in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1957.  This foundation lead him to his successful career as an architect, urbanist, educator, philanthropist, and industry pioneer.  Dean William Chapman merits Don as “a lively and engaged conversationalist with a deep concern for the future of architectural education in Hawai’i. He will be much missed.”

He kehau ho ‘oma ’ema ‘eke aloha!


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