Fluid Dynamics

This west Maui dwelling owes its design to the elemental attraction of water.

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The result of building a home entirely on their own terms is one of the most appealing estates on Maui, a haven whose quiet is laced with birdsong and lit by afternoon rainbows.

Enter the estate through the iron-and-glass butterfly gate designed by Dale Evers, and notice how the sky is mirrored in reflection pools on either side of a walkway that leads to a broad, covered lanai connecting the home’s two main structures. Beyond the lanai, an infinity-edge swimming pool creates the illusion of spilling into the sea. Below the house is a grassy plateau where the Valkirs dogs love to romp. An expansive garden, Gunars’s passion and pastime since retiring, completes the estate.

“We grow everything from seed in the greenhouse,” he says. “The tall grasses around the garden form a natural barrier to erosion and pests. That particular variety grows roots five feet down into the soil. This way we can keep the garden all natural.”

The home was designed as two separate living areas, one for guests, the other to accommodate the couple’s daily life. Massive glass walls retract to allow the outside in so effortlessly that it’s easy to lose track of where the house ends and the natural environment begins.

To enable such seamlessness, Ryniak designed the home without intruding columns. Rather than being built from the ground up, the house hangs from an unseen steel I-beam superstructure that allows the broadest possible ocean vista.

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