Musubi House Is An Off-Grid Haven On Hawaii's Big Island - IMBOLDN
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Musubi House by Craig Steely Architecture

Musubi House Is An Off-Grid Haven On Hawaii’s Big Island

The residence is named after the popular Japanese rice snack.

Musubi House, designed by Craig Steely Architecture, is an extraordinary off-grid residence nestled on the captivating Big Island of Hawai’i. With its innovative design and sustainable features, this 2,200-square-foot home stands as a testament to the power and resilience of the land.

Perched high above the Hamakua coast, Musubi House embraces the island’s dynamic environment. The structure, comprised of glass and concrete, is a series of nested triangles, with the largest resembling the nori-wrapped rice snack from which it draws its name. The monumental diamond-shaped roof, oriented to face the wind, deflects the site’s unpredictable trade winds. An open-air atrium creates a visceral connection to the ever-changing weather patterns, allowing residents to witness the island’s dramatic beauty firsthand.

As a completely off-grid dwelling, Musubi House generates its own electricity through a solar-tracking photovoltaic array and collects rainwater for various purposes. However, constructing this remarkable home presented its own set of challenges. Severe weather and the island’s rugged topography created logistical hurdles, reminiscent of the epic film Fitzcarraldo. The determination to overcome these obstacles led to the completion of this architectural masterpiece.

Inside, Musubi House showcases a triangular inner courtyard, a massive skylight, and a cantilevered roof. Sliding glass doors provide a seamless flow between the interior and exterior, creating a continuous space that integrates with the surrounding landscape. The residence features a sunken living room, a kitchen and dining area, and two bedrooms, all defined by curvaceous concrete structures.

Musubi House is a harmonious blend of modern design and the island’s raw beauty. Its ability to embrace the elements while maintaining sustainability makes it a truly remarkable retreat for those seeking a connection to nature and a life off-grid.

In other architectural news, see Sandway House by Outset Think.