"WATER SERIES: LANIKUHONUA/ANIANIKU"- Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex, Kapole, USA

in collaboration with Doug Young


Artist Doug Young came to us to find a way to translate his realistic paintings of water into structural art glass to be installed in a new Judicial building in Kapolei Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. As this was his first foray into glass, we developed a large amount of samples to show him a variety of possibilities to achieve his design. Doug wanted the imagery to read just like his paintings but in this case the canvas was five individual facades of a building with each of the five areas roughly 40' x 30'. With a total of just over 5,000 square feet of glass, this was at the time one of our largest and most successful projects.

The studio was challenged not only to directly translate his imagery on this large scale but also find a solution where the movement of his imagery could be seen both from the outside and inside during both the day and the night.

Through developing multiple studies and samples we created a unique solution that we had never fabricated before. By combining a slumped piece of glass with a painted piece of glass into an insulated glass unit (IGU) we were able to find the right balance for the piece. The result achieves the movement and rippling of water through the slumped exterior glass while the interior was activated by the wonderful colors from the fired vitreous colored enamels. Combining these two techniques we were able to achieve the artist’s design goals and deliver an incredibly dynamic piece that works well no matter the time of day or night.

The artist’s inspiration for the project comes through his intimate relationship with water. Wai, or water, is such an inherent part of Hawaiian culture. So integral in life form, the precise use, conservation and preservation of water, a word form, Kanawai means the code of Law.

These five art glass water murals are site specific. The images are all from the west side of Oahu’s Ahupua’a o Honouliuli (land division) which includes the Kapolei area. The naturally protected saltwater pond called Anianiku is in a small, precious coastal section called Lanikuhonua (“Where the sky meets the earth”). Anianiku is a reflecting/healing pond; in the days of the Ali’i (royalty), they would dip their newborn in these waters to give them ha, or breath. This nurturing pond also protected the spawning and growing fish before they ventured north along the Waianae coast.


Client: Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Architect: Architects Hawaii
Photo credits: Doug Young

Technique: Airbrushed enamels and slumped glass combined into insulated glass units.

DESCRIPTION: Sense of place for the new Judiciary Complex: Within the Hawai’ian culture, Kanawai is the word used for justice and law. The root word, Wai, is water. Water rights, usage and how it flows from mountains to sea is so vital to sustain life. The calm healing water images of Anianiku (integrated in 5 window bays) are reflected from a protected coastline cove in the ahupua’a of Honouliuli (Kapolei).

"All commissioned work is a collaboration: the artist has a general vision, the glass art fabricator offers the ways and means to interpret it. We went through many techniques and samples throughout the year and the Peters Studio, the staff and the studio family were always open, patient and enthusiastic on trying directions and combinations of technique never tried before. In the end, the final product exceeded both our visions."

- Doug Young, Artist

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