Concrete Love in Lahaina: The Strong Silent Type

“The strong silent type.”

If concrete had to create a personals ad on, it might use the above headline. Concrete is not the outgoing chatty person at the party. Concrete is not the buffster on the cover of Men’s Health, nor the sexy Vogue magazine vixen. Concrete is the unassuming guy standing against the living room wall with the Supercuts hair and grey shorts. The tall girl at the window growing tired of the idle chit chat staring out at the street side park with an intense gaze through thick rimmed glasses. 

In order to fall in love with concrete, you have to go on a few dates, even if after your first impression left you with a “Yeah…no.” After the third date, don’t be surprised if you tuck yourself into bed, clutch a pillow, and become overtaken with a surprise emotion. A tap on the heart.“I can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t get you out of my mind.”

IMG_5624 (1)

Pictured above: The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA  Louis Kahn Architect (R.I.P. Louis)

Architectural Brutalism in Lahaina

The word “Brutalism” is an awful word to describe an architectural movement, especially when you are trying to show this movement in a positive light. But in any case, if you want to see examples of Brutalism, Google shows you this mess of grey:


The emergence of brutalism in the 1970s required great leaps of faith amongst architects, clients, financiers, and planners. So too for the daring person who conceived and built 336 Front Street, Lahaina. In order to appreciate concrete in a Hawaiian setting, we need to look to the landscape and the waterscape.


Pictured above, the central staircase at 336 Front Street (MLS# 367938)

The structure at 336 Front Street offers the density and power of the ocean, and being in the house is like a deep dive into the mass of the ocean – with light emerging and hiding in different places, vertical columns of traveling, swirling currents. In this house, we become birds and fish exploring air and water, hiding and revealing ourselves. The house is a giant coral reef, offering security and structure to its inhabitants.

Long neglected and perhaps misunderstood, this house needs a new owner that will imbue it and rebalance it with cracked open light and air – further opening the central column of light from the third floor to the subterranean entrance. For a more detailed article and plenty more pictures, visit the full article on this property at


What Ideas Do You Have For This Intriguing House?

Please let me know if you’d like to tour this property.

Liam S. Ball, R(B)

Comments (0) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

More Articles from Hawaii Life