Ka Makana Ali’i is a shopping center in Kapolei, Hawaii, a growing suburb west of Honolulu. RSM Design’s clients, DeBartolo and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, built a combined lifestyle and power center with a local Hawaiian flavor. The bright colors, dynamic angles, and internal illumination utilized throughout helped bring a fun and spirited character to the center, and RSM Design’s signage and wayfinding program has become a vibrant addition, expressing the brand story in a bold and memorable way.
The name Ka Makana Ali’i translates to “the royal gift” and is a tribute to Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole, who help designate hundreds of thousands of acres of government land in Hawaii to Native Hawaiians. This idea of a gift, traditionally wrapped in a Ti Leaf, was the primary inspiration throughout the design of the center. RSM Design expressed the rich brand story across a signage and wayfinding program, drawing a pattern based on the colors and folding of the Ti Leaf and using it throughout the project. As you travel from the perimeter of the mall toward the interior, the color story moves from teal to fuschia, representing this surprise or unfolding dynamic of the gift.
The circulation of a power center and a lifestyle center vary dramatically from one another. The environmental graphic design program RSM Design created bridged that gap and promoted a cohesive feeling with strong pedestrian connections between the far reaches of the parking lots into the heart of the shopping center.