20 for the Next 20: Nathan Saint Clare – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-02-23 00:38:12 –

Nathan St. Claire


Nathan St. Clair is a talented architect with an international portfolio that is never unpredictable. He sees design as an ever-evolving process, a “moving creature” that changes from project to client.

“Good design solves the problem,” he says. “But good design tells a story, and that’s what I’m really interested in. What is this project telling about the community, clients, and stakeholders?”

In Hawaii, the project must also reflect the land and its history, which is unlike any other place where he worked.

St. Clair has designed buildings on five continents, including the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, the Torre Macrobank Tower in Buenos Aires, and the Emeryville Public Market in the Bay Area. He holds a degree in architecture from Kansas and Yale University and lives in the Midwestern United States, East and West Coast, Australia, Singapore, and now Hawaii, where his wife has a family.

In his small home overlooking Kaneohe Bay, St. Clair grew up in a 30-acre forest a few miles from the town of One Stoplight in southwestern Missouri, making it easy to slip into a quiet life. It shaped him into a man with patience, Midwestern optimism, and a “solar energy” temperament in search of a better winter.

Focus of St. Clair AHL It’s a health and wellness project now, a move driven by the birth of a son, and now two and three. “With children, the horizons change and the timeline of important things changes. It really happens on a generational scale,” he says. He wants a project that is “used by the community and makes their lives better”.

Recent ones Kalihi-Palama Health Center.. “He’s proud of the building,” says Bettina Mehnert, AHL’s president and CEO. “You can measure success by pleasing awards and clients, but you can also measure success by how well the project meets the needs of the community.” In that regard, the center is a huge success, she says. I will.

St. Clair is helping the Queens Health System plan long-term growth across the island. This is an ambitious project, as each hospital may resemble a mini city. He will also help Hawaii reach its clean energy goals through “smart design, smart buildings, smart decision making”.

“Nathan has a foresight,” says Mehnert. “It’s easy to get hooked on daily details and big projects, but he always sees them in context. For him, a successful solution means everyone that his project touches. However, it means that it will be positively affected in some way. “

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