Transcultural Tropicality: Modernist Architecture in Honolulu, USA, and the Gold Coast, AU

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Since the early twentieth century, modernist architecture incorporated specific regional features, while at the same time encompassing international trends in terms of transcultural influences. In this evolvement, climatic considerations were naturally significant, which led into various forms of regional architectural expressions across the world. In tropical and sub-tropical contexts, too, there were various attempts to adjust the so-called international style to better reflect local climatic and cultural contexts, in which transculturalism played an important role, along with regional idioms. Therefore, this paper explores the relationship of modernist tropical architecture and its transcultural paradigm – when understood as the wider umbrella of critical regionalism. To illustrate this phenomenon, the paper examines two sub-tropical settings: Honolulu, USA, and Gold Coast, AU. These cities are comparable in many other ways than their climate as well, primarily because most of their urban fabric was built after the 1940s, because they represent new kind of built environments designed for seaside mass tourism, and because they featured architecture of emerging tropical regionalism. More specifically, the paper analyses mid-century modernist house designs of Vladimir Ossipoff in Honolulu, Hawaii, and those of Hayes & Scott in the Australian Gold Coast.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2019
Event7th International Network of Tropical Architecture Conference: Urban Tropicality - The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20198 Dec 2019
Conference number: 7th


Conference7th International Network of Tropical Architecture Conference
Abbreviated title2019 iNTA
Internet address


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