Honolulu, HI

Shangri La


Built in 1937 as Doris Duke’s Hawaiian estate, Shangri La is now open to the public for viewing the heiress’s extensive collection of Islamic art. One of Hawaii’s most architecturally significant homes, the complex is inspired by and features Islamic art and architectural elements throughout the many structures, including a 14,000 sq ft house, playhouse, pool, and series of interlocking spaces bridging indoors and out. As part of a multi-year master plan to preserve and adapt the historic residence and grounds, SGH collaborated with Historic Resources Group to complete a condition assessment and prepare a Historic Structure Report. Working as a consultant to Mason Architects, we subsequently designed split-slab roofing replacements.

SGH visited the site to document the condition of the reinforced concrete main house and pool house (both with numerous decorative wood and ceramic art pieces incorporated into the architecture); stone, brick, and concrete landscape structures; retaining walls; and a sea wall. We assessed multiple roofing types, including ceramic tile, single-ply and fluid-applied membranes, and split-slab construction, and performed water testing to investigate roof leakage. SGH also performed field testing to help us in examining termite damage to wood components.

We prepared a summary of our observations to include in the Historic Structure Report. We recommended repairs to facilitate the intended use and extend the useful life of the structure. To help the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art plan for future work, SGH prioritized immediate, short-term, and long-term treatments.

SGH consulted on the reroofing design, addressing challenging split slab conditions over water-sensitive, interior finishes. We provided options for roofing configurations and material options, balancing performance with acceptable costs.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Applied Science & Research
Culture & Entertainment
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art | Historic Resources Group | Mason Architects
Specialized Capabilities
Condition Assessments | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing | Environmental Simulations

Key team members

Carolyn Searls
Carolyn Searls
Senior Principal
Matthew  Worster
Matthew Worster
Associate Principal