A Hawaii Architect Gets National Attention

Mark Dereus

Congrats are due to a couple of local architecture talents. Both interior designer Mary Philpotts McGrath and architect Mark de Reus have been included in Architectural Digest’s newest AD 100, published in its January issue. This list includes the magazine’s selection of “the top architects and interior designers whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest over the past several years.”

We caught up with de Reus, who has been running his own 14-person firm on the Big Island since 2002, to see what he’s been up to.

He says the Big Island has become a real magnet for interesting, high-end residential and resort architecture. “There’s such an eclectic mixture here,” he says. “You’ll find beautiful homes tucked away all over the island, from the gated resort communities down on the coastline to private residences tucked way up in the mountains. I’m sure you see that on Maui and Oahu. We just happen to have a little more elbowroom.”

De Reus’s own work has combined local and international influences. One of the projects that won him a spot on the AD 100 was a North Kona Coast residence that incorporated elements of American Craftsman style into a traditional Hawaiian hale layout. “We do try to find that sense of place,” he says. “But we’re trying to innovate and find new ways to express that, so the architecture can evolve.”

De Reus’s firm is currently working on a Kaupulehu residence, as well as a trio of projects in Mexico, north of Puerto Vallarta, and a hotel in Fiji. But despite his international focus, de Reus says he’s excited by what he sees right in his own back yard. “I think we’re just about ready to get past this recession,” he says. “I see a lot happening on Big Island in the near future. There’s very little new private land available, but there’s a lot of infill. So I see a steady growth over the next few years, just with infill projects alone.”

Photos Courtesy Mark de Reus