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John M. Hara, FAIA
John Hara Associates
Honolulu, Hawaii


The American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region is pleased to announce John M. Hara, FAIA is this year’s recipient of the AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement. The honor recognizes an extraordinary body of work over the four decades of Mr. Hara’s practice. The jury felt he consistently demonstrated a passion for the value of architecture in our culture and our society through a long and dedicated career.

Within the confines of an island state, John Hara has carefully and consistently addressed the task of defining and expanding upon an architectural legacy appropriate for its setting in place and time. The architectural heritage of Hawai’i remains vigorous and intelligent in his contemporary buildings.

Since he founded his architectural firm in 1970, John Hara’s diverse commissions have come from Hawaii’s most important institutions and entities with long-standing reputations of excellence and sophistication. In that period he has completed the design and construction of over 65 complex, academic, and cultural facility buildings for significant clients.

Throughout his career he has been accorded recognition with numerous design excellence awards and accolades, underscoring the fact that the pursuit of a regional architecture void of stereotype and myth is a valid challenge. Since 1974, Mr. Hara’s buildings have won over fifty design awards with thirty for “Excellence in Architecture.” His distinguished and expansive series of architectural works are best expressed as tranquil, serene with skillfully composed architectural elegance.

In 1996 he was elevated to AIA Fellowship in the category of design. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in Culture, Arts, and Humanities from the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. He was most recently recognized with an award for lifetime achievement by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for his dedication to community service, supporting historic and cultural presentation, helping to educate our children and improving relationships with Hawai’i and Japan.

Mr. Hara’s teacher and mentor, Romaldo Giurgola, noted that John Hara’s work is a salutary and admirable presence. “His places are measured and real, yet they radiate the open optimism of a wonderful continuity of idea, with form-making, working slowing and quietly toward the truth of the place and the people among whom he lives.”