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Manoa Campus
Framework for the Future

Shepherding the transformation of a western university campus into a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning


UH Manoa wanted to transform its traditional, western-planned campus into a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning within the backdrop of a colonial-era institution. The university also needed to expand enrollment within the physical and financial constraints of its taxpayer-funded capital program.


Through extensive engagement with all levels of the campus community, MKThink led the development of guiding principles and planning objectives to guide the university transformation towards a ‘Native Hawaiian Place of Learning’.

MKThink assessed campus patterns and perceptions using advanced sensor and crowd-sourced tools and then analyzed building conditions, space utilization, and scheduling to understand opportunities for expanding the effective capacity of the campus beyond just building new. MKThink then identified specific strategies and guidelines for the targeted transformation of high-impact locations on campus.


The long-range plan supports 10% enrollment growth, particularly among Native Hawaiians, over 20 years while reducing campus square footage by 1,000,000 square feet. MKThink’s strategy to recapture, consolidate, and activate indoor and outdoor campus spaces helped the university avoid over $600 million in new construction costs and reduce its deferred maintenance backlog by $150 million.

Since the framework was introduced, UH Manoa has been able to improve classroom utilization from 17 to 30 hours per week while improving administrative space occupant density by 64%.


University of Hawaii, Manoa


Campus Needs Assessment
Campus Framework Plan
Design Guidelines
Project Prioritization Framework


Honolulu, Hawaii


9.7 M GSF; 500 acres


Higher Education


Facilities Utilization 2017
Campus Master Plan 2018
Campus Planning (various) 2017-Present

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