Outside of the Box

A north shore home artfully blends creativity and sustainability.

modern Haiku home
Neutral-toned furnishings congregate in the cottage’s living room, providing ultra-cozy, front-row seating to the spectacular view. The polished concrete floor was stamped with wood to give it a textured appearance.

As befits a homeowner-slash-techie, all of the systems can be monitored remotely and controlled with a push of a button on David’s laptop. (The same goes for the home’s lighting, humidification and face-recognition security systems.)

A pathway leads from the above-grade structure to the 990-square-foot cottage, which is modestly but comfortably outfitted with cozy furnishings, a mobile koa-wood kitchen island, polished concrete floors, and a gas fireplace to warm up chilly north shore evenings. In the two bedrooms, brightly painted vertical steel beams provide pops of color.

It’s clean and simple, but far from boring. For one thing, a thirty-three-foot-wide, floor-to-ceiling glass wall reveals uninterrupted ocean views; a sliding door opens to a covered lānai. There, David says, “You can look out into infinity.” There’s an oversized lava-rock outdoor shower (David ensured it would be large enough to rinse off sandy bodies and surfboards at the same time) with a sliding ipe-wood door. Overhead, David installed a Japanese zen-garden-inspired green roof, a rarity in Hawai‘i, but commonplace in his other stomping grounds, Tokyo and Vancouver, British Columbia.

modern Haiku home
Native plants flourish in three-by-three-foot trays on the cottage’s green roof, which takes its inspiration from Japanese zen gardens. The office’s higher elevation preserves its unobstructed views of the Pacific.

Durable materials abound: concrete, steel, ipe wood, lava rock, and Italian porcelain bathroom tile masquerading as textured wood on the exterior. “We took the inside and brought it outside. It might be one of the world’s largest outdoor showers,” David jokes. Apart from being a conversation-worthy feature (David says incredulous visitors often touch it, and are surprised to discover it’s not actual wood), the water-resistant tile is also ideal for Ha‘ikū’s rainy weather. And the light-gray exterior doesn’t compete with its natural surroundings, just as David intended. “I wanted it to blend with the landscape,” he says. 

Visitors to the property have differing interpretations of the home. Some say it reminds them of a living diorama. Others say it has an aquarium-like quality.

David sees it this way: “It’s a jewel box . . . a work of art.” He credits the project’s success to the talented craftspeople who helped bring his vision to life. “The building process was just as rewarding as coming up with the design,” he says. “I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”


Bellissimo Stoneworks and Design, Inc.
(tile installation)
10 Hakoi Pl., Kīhei
808-214-4880 • Dustin@Bellissimo-Tile.com • Bellissimo-Tile.com

David Fitch Heirloom Woodworks
(custom doors, cabinetry)
808-633-6702 • David@HeirloomWoodworks.com • HeirloomWoodworks.com

Maui Architectural Group
2331 W. Main St., Wailuku
808-244-9011 • Peter@MauiArch.com • MauiArch.com

P.O. Box 880682, Pukalani
808-298-8500 • MauiScapes@Gmail.com • MauiScapes.com

Pacific Source
(kitchen cabinets)
515 E. Uahi Way, Wailuku
808-986-0380 • PacSource.com

Pohaku Masonry
(rock walls)

RZ Solar and Electric
1135 Makawao Ave., Makawao
808-876-1389 • Info@RZSolar.com • RZSolar.com

Smith Builders Maui
(general contractor)
Info@SmithBuildersMaui.com • SmithBuildersMaui.com

Up-country Electric Co. Inc.
75 Ho‘olai St., Ha‘ikū
808-575-2888 • Chris@UpCountryElectric.com • UpCountryElectric.com



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