Modern Masterpiece on the Market for First Time in Honolulu

  • Dumbwaiter in Second Kitchen

    Dumbwaiter in Second Kitchen

  • Front Door

    Front Door

  • Main Floor

    Main Floor

Purchasing a bare lot in an inspired (and beautiful) location such as this one in Honolulu, HI, is the easy part. Building on that same lot is where difficulty kicks in.

"It was quite an undertaking," listing agent Dawn Soderquist Okano says.

A rock-hard coral bed made it challenging to break ground back in the early '60s, but the results are spectacular. This six-bedroom Mid-Century Modern home, now on the market for $3.6 million, is located in the lively Diamond Head neighborhood. The property offers scenic 180-degree views and is just six blocks from the beach.

"To start the house, they quarried the coral rock and used that coral rock to build the rock walls that surround the home," Okano adds.

The rocky detail is just one of the quirky facts of this 1963 gem that's just come on the market for the first time. The family has decided to sell it, after three generations lived in the house.

The current owner's father, who built the residence, "was a developer and a businessman," Okano says. The original owner even enlisted his brother, local architect Howard Wong, to design the place.

While the home has been beautifully preserved, it hasn't been updated, leaving the new owner a chance to do a custom remodel.

But there are plenty of timeless details that won't need to be touched (in our opinion), including the terrazzo flooring and counters, locally sourced Ohia wood exterior cladding, and Italian Bimini lights out front -- plus walls and walls of windows.

The 4,000-square-foot home made of concrete and steel has two floors, two kitchens, and a dumbwaiter that runs between the two. The second kitchen and bar on the ground-floor rumpus room was meant for entertaining. There's also a guest bedroom and bathroom.

The main floor includes the master bedroom, family room, and living and dining rooms. A spiral staircase leads guests right in through a bright blue door for a dramatic entry.

Nature makes its way inside the home with a serene two-story atrium, including live trees that add a touch of greenery to the top floor.

One word comes to mind when you finally see the view: "Awe," the agent says. This isn't sales speak. The tropical vista showcases a sparkling ocean, volcanoes, and plenty of treetops. While a buyer may want to tweak a few elements in the home, the views require no work at all.