The University of Hawaiʻi gave the community its first look at the preliminary conceptual design for the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership.

The concepts are the result of a year-long discussion and a workshop that solicited input from a diverse group of public-private partners, community and university leaders.

“I want to see somewhere the soul of Hawaiʻi articulated in that building. And in this transparency of this very beautiful building, that there will still be the heart and soul of Hawaiʻi expressed in it,” said Momi Cazimero, Daniel K. Inouye workshop participant.

Architects laid out the preliminary conceptual design at a formal presentation and explained a few unique features of the building, such as the rooftop wind scoop.

“The idea is to capture those beautiful Mānoa winds that come through the campus and naturally ventilate our great innovation zone. So we have this beautiful innovation zone on the ground level with televisions that can broadcast live on the great lawn,” said Janine Clifford, Clifford Planning and Architecture architect.

The preliminary conceptual design for the Daniel K. Inouye Center on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus.

The preliminary design concept includes a three-story structure with a gathering place for civic engagement and possible exhibition space on the ground level.

“And to create a space for the telling of the Dan Inouye story. And to capture the lessons on leadership and courage and humanity. And to inspire succeeding generations to step forward and lead,” said Jennifer Sabas, Daniel K. Inouye Institute director.

The second floor is envisioned as an innovation zone for classrooms and presentations. And the third floor would serve as a support and preservation space for items such as Senator Inouye’s congressional papers.

“I see the middle schoolers and the high schoolers and the school busses at the end of McCarthy Mall and students learning about democracy, about public service. And many of them being inspired to follow in the senator’s footsteps,” said Tom Apple, UH Mānoa chancellor.

“This is going to be a great place for the community. We are going to have featured speakers and activities that will draw people in and really help elevate the dialog around all kinds of issues that Hawaiʻi is confronted with in our public sphere,” said UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan.

The design development phase will take at least another year and groundbreaking is at least a year and a half away. No cost estimate will be available until various options are explored and the final design is complete.