Rhodes’ life-long fascination with carved stone screens found full expression in this unusual architectural commission. With their careful juxtaposition of solid and void, stone screens are one of the most challenging objects in the pantheon of stone expression. In general, each penetration to a stone introduces weakness and vulnerability. Purposefully, weakening stone in this way may be counterintuitive, but when successful, it yields compelling results.
In the vernacular architecture of Hawaii, large roof overhangs typically provide the required rain screen. The temperate climate renders glass windows unnecessary at the waters edge since they block the temperate breeze from the ocean. This presents an ideal opportunity for the use of stone screens, providing security without shutting out the soft tropical air.
The six hand-carved screens measure 4.5’ wide and 9’ tall. They are each constructed of only two stones that sit on top of each other. More than twelve iterative hand-carved prototypes helped Rhodes arrive at the ideal spacing for optimal strength and ventilation.