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The Melting Pot
From the original native settlers in 300 – 500 AD, to the European Explorers and American Missionaries of the late 18th Century, this project located near the waterfront on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, is also inspired by the 19th Century Immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Portugal. To meet the growing demand for workers on the Pineapple and Sugarcane Plantations, these groups brought labor for industries that anchored the Hawaiian Economy. This influx of migrants forever changed the scope of Hawaiian Culinary Purview.
This cross-pollination of cultures created a “melting pot” of ideas and traditions. An important development in cuisine currently referred as “Local Food” is the successful result of each group bringing and sharing its own ethnic food. This Restaurant Project: “The Melting Pot” seeks to re-engage this historic immigrant culture and gastronomic sensibility with a community of building trust, hope and joy.
This site offers community participation within the Organic Gardens on the north zone where healthy herbal and vegetable plants can be a cultivated and utilized ingredient in the Restaurant’s Local Dish offerings. They can also be sold at the in-house Gift Shops. A landscaped Public Open-Space at the south zone provides a neutral place to gather, relax and facilitate social chance-encounters within the neighborhood.
The aura of gaining trust, safety and comfort during the Covid-19 Pandemic is promulgated through the perception of “transparency” and “truth”. The Restaurant offers high transparency levels where observation is encouraged at key food preparation areas; and assessing the quality of indoor and outdoor environments. Such places can be fully viewed through an integrated system of transparent walls (movable glass partitions); roof (filtered skylight); and floor (open central atrium connecting floor levels). To temper the glare of direct sunlight, the skylight is tightly framed with a grid of latticed woodwork. The lattice geometry recalls the ancient Hawaiian tradition of weaving coconut palm fronds.
Several waterfront locations in Hawaii experience storm surges and eroding beaches. Through scientific computer modeling, these and other at-risk areas are also susceptible to Climate Change and Sea-level Rise based on the correlating 2 degrees C rise in temperature scenario. This Restaurant anticipates and allows resiliency by raising the First-Floor deck 5 feet above grade to reduce the potential of flood damage.
Other energy conservation features include an operable wall system. With a fully open perimeter, the dining area in effect is transformed into a large sheltered, but open veranda with maximum ventilation. Additional passive cooling is achieved from an aerated pond within the Atrium. A water bubbler is provided for mosquito vector mitigation. Rainwater Harvesting is provided with storage tanks for grey-water recycling and landscape irrigation. Most material finishes utilize Bamboo, a fast-growing and sustainable building product.
Extending beyond normal restaurant services, “The Melting Pot” is also an experiential event that can be replicated in spirit of providing a haven to revisit; reunite; and reconnect neighborhoods, residents, and visitors in a positive and uplifting environment.
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