Thursday, December 29, 2016

Aulani - A Disney Resort

The Maka'ala Lobby

The first thing you notice as you enter the main lobby is the how open it is and how many things there are to see.  The lobby is called "Maka'ala" which means "watchful".  While you may notice many things, here are a few things you may want to watch for.

The lobby is open on two sides, once faces the mountains (Mauka), and one faces the sea (Makai).  The stained glass above the Mauka side can get a green tint to them, while the stained glass above the Makai side can get a blue tint to them.

The other subtle detail in the lobby is the mural that surrounds the lobby.  If you are facing the Mauka side you may notice that the mural depicts all the responsibilities of the men (Kane) and the right side depicts the responsibilities of the women (Wahine).  Hence, from the center of the lobby, all the artwork and theming of the entire resort of divided into Kane and Wahine artwork.  That includes everything from the large relief panels on the outside of the buildings.  Even the geometric patterns in the panels that line the lobby roof inspired by Hawaiian kapa cloth and are themed to Kane and Wahine patterns.  Another subtle detail is in the some of the columns in the lobby.  The process of making kapa (textile made from tree bark) is to pound it with a "beater" called an i'e kuku.  The shape of the i'e kuku can be found in some of the columns of the lobby.

Another subtle detail is in the center of the lobby on the floor.  If you are facing the Makai side, at your  feet you will see a compass rose embedded in the floor.  This compass does not point to your traditional North, South, East and West.  Instead, they correspond to directions that ancient Hawaiians relied on - up toward the Makai, down to the Mauka, and again picking up the theming of the resort, the Wahine on the left, made of a more smooth lava, and on the right, the Kane side, made up of a more rough lava rock.

One not so subtle detail is the curved arch of the lobby which is based on traditional Hawaiian canoe houses.  This theme is echoed throughout the resort.

This was an HDR image taken with a tripod facing the Mauka side.  The normal image was taken using an aperture of f/5.6, ISO 400 and varying shutter speeds to make the bracket.  I also used a fairly wide 16mm lens to capture the entire lobby.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.