Construction of Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building occurred in 1871 that used different and exceptional style of concrete bricks. It was the first building in Hawaii to use such style and design. It is a government building that has hosted and used for various functions within different agencies of the governments. The structure built and designed with concrete bricks and iron bars that resulted into a stronger structure that has amazed many up to the current times. It was built by Osborne and has remained one of the most important and ancient building that existed in the US owned by the governments. Its unique styles and design inspire many more buildings and structures to be raised up using the style and technique of concrete bricks.Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building
Many buildings across cities and towns in mixed areas, in the world, have contributed to the beauty that describes to the surrounding and environment of such areas. Buildings designed in a manner that displays different styles and patterns that describe the architecture of a particular area and region. Building, therefore, have been able to display varied themes and meanings that transpire in the society besides fulfilling the general function that buildings are designed and built. Building due to the artistic features and patterns that are encompassed in their plans and construction have been able to make it easy for the audience. The users of such structures to interpret varied information, and themes that touch on philosophical, cultural, historical, economic and social aspects that occur in the society. Building, therefore, that was created in the past and presents times impact positively not only to the environment around it by adding beauty, but also conveys several culturally related themes that define and conveys information regarding the community and the people around the area. However, this paper analyzes Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building relating to the cultural themes displayed by the structure.
Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building is among the oldest public buildings and structures in the United States (US) that was designed and built using the reinforced Portland cement factory. The technology used for construction of the structure has made the building different in many ways. The structure located at Hawaiian Islands at the corner of Bethel and Merchant Street in Honolulu. Built in the year 1871 by renowned architect Osborne, it is asserted to be among the oldest public buildings that exist in the present times (Final Kamehameha,3). The building is made relevant and important not only due to the historical benefits that arises from it, but also because of the structure’s style and design that was unique and outstanding that had never been seen in the US. At the time the structure got built, the technology of Portland cement was spreading across many parts of Europe and the world at large, and it is a time that witnessed a revolution in the construction industry by development of Portland cement technology. Osborne immigrated to Hawaii from Yorkshire in England who was an experienced brick maker who moved in purposely for the job and his experience in the brick industry. The leaders of the city had plans to introduce an exceptional piece that would sell the city to the outside world and earn the required recognition. The structure after its successful construction, it impacted and inspired many more architects and designers to incorporate the techniques in other buildings that were built after Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi). The technique works bests in places that are cool. Hawaii has a warm climate made the designer wet the concrete and allow it harden slowly. It resulted into stronger structures and materials that have made the building stand the taste of time over the many years that it has been in existence. The slow hardening of the concrete used led to a slow delay of commencement of the construction and this raised questions and concerns to the public. However, the leadership of Hawaii by then believed and supported the delay that was intentionally done to allow the structures to be firm and strong (Jay, 13). Building made of concrete required techniques and skills that would make the concrete stronger that would stand strong for a longer period and varied weather and climate such as one noted in the Hawaiian islands. Expert’s note that the materials used for the building of concrete blocks and iron bars have made it stand strong over the many years that have passed.
Culture and society
Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building presents various cultural elements at the society. During such early times and days, many communities had incorporated cultural elements in their daily activities and lifestyles. The Hawaiian kingdom as earlier known had many cultural attributes that were included in the building such as the patterns and noted in the exterior part of the building. Many structures and building of the ancient times decorated with patterns and styles that added beauty to the structures. The patterns of the rails and columns of the building present an even pattern displayed at the balcony and front side of the structure (Pager, 32). The blocks are well laid that present cut stone that present a classical design. The kingdom of Hawaii by then led by king Kamehameha who was an active leader at the time and got involved in many more public structures and buildings. The building as a two story building indicated the structure that were dominant by then in the area and region and this indicated the cultural elements of the people that were intact and not influenced by foreign style and concepts. At the time, taller structures and buildings had started coming up across many parts and cities in the world. Hawaii as islands, it was viewed ad regarded as a cultural area that maintained and conform to their traditional styles and believes not only in the architectural designs and buildings, but also in other aspects of life that touched on culture and history.
The design of the building is also similar to most noted in palace among other traditional buildings that incorporate the cultural elements and styles in them. Many cultures the past had much respect for art and the beauty that results from it making it that resulted into many structures incorporating cultural elements and patterns in them. The United States as a country composed of many people that come from varied backgrounds and cultures. The area and places that such people are dominant have included the cultural elements in them making buildings and structures from such areas and places display certain cultural elements in them. The design of the window and building made in consideration of the cultural factors due to the shape and design of the windows and doors that were common in other structures from the area (Schmitt &Ronck, 17). The Hawaiian people outsourced the expertise of Osborne as the constructor of the building due to the skills and knowledge that had been developed in the concrete building and this would reflect the style that the native Hawaiian people had regarding buildings and construction. The leadership wanted to come up with a structure that would influence the people and community positively in terms of cultural developments and maintenance. The choice of concrete bricks and outsourcing of an expert that is competent to produce a good structure with cultural elements, it indicated that the culture was an important part of the society that had to be respected and nurtured amid changing times. The style and technique used, therefore, for construction of a structure made it possible to display the cultural elements as was the intention of the Hawaiian leadership by then.
Construction of the building
During the time that Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building constructed, the methods used for construction were simple and used simple tools and technology unlike the current and present times where there is advanced technology and machinery used for construction. As a two story building, it did not require extensive labor and materials and, therefore, the tools and equipments used for the construction were limited both in number and capacity for the construction. The materials processed within the site and area of construction after initially the concrete bricks had been constructed. The concrete blocks were made and designed to harden slowly so that they could result into a much stronger structure (Pager, 17). As state building, transportation among other necessary required materials were transported and carried by state as they had taken a keen interest of the building and they observed it through the various development stages and processes. The design and style were new and, therefore, the building built at a much slower pace bearing in mind that the concrete blocks given more time to harden slowly. The public was also excited by the pace and rate of construction of the building, but it was the leadership and administration of the Hawaii that encouraged and supported the slow pace of construction of the building. They preferred a slower pace that would produce great work of high quality and standards. The pulley system used in the construction of the upper floor of the building was simple. Concrete bricks and other materials and resources such as iron bars need to add to the strength of the building due to the concrete bricks that were sued for the construction of the building. The labor used for construction of the structure was minimal as it required only a few people to work on it even though the time spent for the construction took a little longer that had been anticipated (Salmon,9 ). It is because it was among the first building and structure that used the design and style of concrete bricks, and the idea was a foreign concept that had not been witnessed in the buildings that existed earlier. It pioneered the use of the style and this made it utilized across many other buildings that came after its construction.
The building presented a new style in the construction and building environment in the society. Concrete bricks and styles had never previously used in the area and this forced the leadership and management to outsourcing somebody who had experienced in brick making from concrete. The uses of concrete that was carefully wetted to allow slow hardening as noted above in the previous presentations. It was among the first construction of concrete to be raised in Hawaii (Jay, 12). The concrete bricks were joined together by cement with the support of iron bars that gave the building the structural strength. Wood used for making doors and the roofs of the ceiling of the building. The roof of the building was that made of tiles and some part of the windows made of wood while the rest made of transparent glass. Tiles introduced inside the building after its completion and the color and paint used cream t and white that was applied to both the interior and exterior parts of the building. Nails and rivets were used to join different parts of the structure. Water was an important part among the materials used for construction that resulted into concrete bricks that were strong enough as well in productions and joining of the bricks with cement to form a strong bond and construction.
The exterior part of the building was designed uniquely that display different patterns and style used in the construction. The concrete bricks are well laid on each other presenting an even pattern of small rectangular boxes on the sides of the structures. The balcony and veranda of the structure have rails that are designed in a different style presenting an exceptional design that are evenly speared on the entire surface. There are four outlets and entry points within the main entrance doors that lead to the entrance from the main doors making it easy and convenient for users to access and approach the building from any direction (Schmitt &Ronck, 7). The balcony in the upper floor has rails that safeguards the users from dropping down and acting as a safety measure while, at the same time, it provides a high point for view of the outside environment. The top of the upper floors designed with rails that cut across the entire rooftop, hence presenting a unique design that adds to the beauty of the building. The top and ground veranda is designed that produces a curve near the entrance and this makes it reduces the monopoly in most joints within the building there are rectangular and square. Incorporating the curve in the building, it shows that expertise and professionalism of the architects and constructor of the building. The curve is also located at the corner of the building making and facilitating movements and turnings especially of vehicles and people. There are several doors that lead to the entrance of the building with the main doors located in front of the building. The upper floor has windows that are evenly spaced and placed on the side of the wall and this is to allow proper ventilation of the structure by allowing air and light to flow inside of the building. On the front part of the building, the columns join the balcony above and give support and reinforcement making the building stronger and attractive (Salmon, 14). The columns are well spaced and open that allows proper ventilation in the front side of the structure. The exterior parts of the building also built with enough parking space and open field that allows the users of the building to uses and facilitate their use and movements around the buildings. There are trees and other plants planted at the side of the building and this gives it a better image and look.
The interior design of the building made with spacious rooms that have allowed numerous activities to be conducted from the building. The rooms are spacious and well ventilated and enough lightening system placed inside the building. The finish of the walls is smooth with various patterns displayed within the structure that adds to the beauty of the building from the inside part. The ceiling reflects the color of the wall that has been finished smoothly allowing the rooms to remain cool and well ventilated. The stairs that are inside the building that leads to the upper floor is well placed ad spacious enough making movement easy for people moving up and down the building. The floors of the building made with tiles that give it a smooth finish that are placed well displaying a particular design that adds beauty to the inside surface of the structure. The roofs placed with fun that is centrally placed in the various rooms that exist within the building and this adds to the ventilation of the rooms making use convincing and enjoyable to the users. The interior painted in white and this helps and reinforces ventilation as it brightens that inside part of the structure making visibility easy for the users.
As small structure of its size, it did not attract much labor in the process of its construction. The unique style and design of the building limited the amount of labor that was used to construct the building because the design and style used for its construction of concrete bricks were anew phenomena. It compelled Osborne the constructor of the building to be involved in many parts of the building. The labor sourced locally was of a few people, but most of the works they did was subject to approval by the lead architect (Final Kamehameha, 15). In the construction of the concrete blocks, Osborne used labor in situations that did not require technical skills and expertise such as in wetting the concrete bricks and monitoring their hardening process. The building did not attract much labor as it was not economical due to the size of the building. Osborne, therefore, controls most of the decisions relating to labor and had only a few people to help him work out the job. The building as among the first to be constructed in the style and technique used. It made Osborne limit and restricted the amount of labor used. He wanted to produce outstanding work hat would form the benchmark and used as an example in the industry. For this reason, the construction was done well that it influenced many other buildings and structures after its construction. The contractor that pioneered the construction was involved to the end of the construction project and this ensured that the same labor force was used from the start to the finish of the work.
If it were built today
Kamehameha V Post Office (Hi) building as an ancient building that first used the technology and style of concrete building that pioneered others make it an outstanding piece that can only be associated with modern and unique buildings. The building was a government building and construction that pioneered the style and design. If It got built today, because it pioneered in the style and method of concrete building, and it was owned by the state, as well as its outstanding patterns and designs, it could get equated with the white house even though the size of the building is small. Due the fact that it was built and owned by the state, and the design and pattern displayed including the outside color. The height of the building, it could resemble a building that is similar to the white house due its height, design, outside, exterior patterns. Much more modern building owned by private individual have displayed similar patterns and styles that resemble the building.
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Jay, Robert. The Architecture of Charles W. Dickey: Hawaii and California. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1992. Print.
Pager, Sean. Hawaii. Guilford, Conn: Globe Pequot, 2010. Internet resource.
Salmon, Cleveland. Architectural Design for Tropical Regions. New York, NY [u.a.: Wiley, 1999. Print.
Schmitt, Robert C, and Ronn Ronck. Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawai'i. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1995. Print.