Mid-century modern buildings
If you’re a fan of circular buildings – and what self respecting modernist isn’t? – then you’ll want to check out the Varsity Building on University Avenue.
Designed by Honolulu modernist architects Wimberly & Cook, this 5-story concrete Brutalist beauty was built to house the First National Bank when it opened in 1963 and is one of several circular structures to have gone up during the city’s building boom of the 1950s and 60s (including the Waikiki Circle Hotel and several other modernist bank buildings).
Its cylindrical shape is elevated above the ground, seemingly balanced upon a ring of glass, with banks of windows and vertical fins that act as sun shades exhibiting great shadow play on the building’s surface.
The Varsity Building, as of this writing, sits vacant awaiting redevelopment.
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