Middle Street Intermodal Center

Before the project began, the 10.35 acre site, adjacent to the City’s central bus facilities, was occupied by dilapidated warehouses, abandoned vehicles, and the homeless. Long ago, it was home to a Hawaiian fishing village.

In January 2003, the City finished work on the Master Plan for the Middle Street parcel. The plan called for the site to become a major public transportation hub and is comprised of three building components: 1) an intermodal center serving transfers between numerous bus routes at an 800 foot long platform; 2) the Handivan’s Administration and Maintenance Facility and parking for a 150 vehicle fleet, and; 3) a parking garage, which will provide spaces for 1000 cars as well as City service centers at the ground level.

The enclosed spaces of the center, such as the administration buildings and restrooms, were designed to “float” on a platform, remaining separate from the roof structure above. Each programmatic space is provided with its own separate CMU block building, allowing the majority of the platform to remain open to views, which helps to provide a feeling of security.

The heavy, solid, burnished face CMU walls are juxtaposed with the openness of the platform area and roof. The cost efficiency of building with CMU allowed for the feasibility of the separate buildings.

The building walls utilize burnished face CMU block, which doubles as a structural and finish material for both the interior and exterior. This eliminates the need for the added expense and maintenance of additional finishes. The exterior walls are treated with an anti-graffiti coating.

The dark gray of the solid, burnished face block walls provides a contrast to the light and airy steel structure of the butterfly roof above. A stacked bond pattern was chosen to create clean and minimal lines, and because the wall height was short enough to make this structurally feasible.

Project Information


Middle Street Intermodal Center


Honolulu, HI


Urban Works

Masonry Contractor

Quality General Inc.

Featured Materials

Solid, burnished face block
Anti-graffiti coating


Cost effective
Low maintenance
Resistant to graffiti