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East-West Center, University of Hawaii

JohnYoung, Joel Bradshaw

East-West center is a 3-building complex separate, but integrated, within the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus. Included are a 13-story dormitory, a 2-story administration building, and the 2-story John F. Kennedy Theater, all executed in architectural concrete and designed to take full advantage of the landscape and local climate.

The complex realized a proposal made in 1959 by then-Senator Lydon Baines Johnson for “a truly international center of learning where the world’s best and most mature minds could meet and exchange ideas…a meeting place for intellectuals of East and West.” The project commenced in January 1960, four months after Hawaii became the 50th state.

East-West Center received a national Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1963.


Site plan / Courtesy of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Design Team: I.M. Pei, Design Partner; Araldo Cossutta and Pershing Wong, Design Architects I.M. Pei & Associates