For dreams.

For creativity.

For change.

For everyone.

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Enjoy this video fly-thru of the future Academy Learning Commons.

Use the arrows to the right and left to view 3D renderings of the new space.


The Academy Learning Commons repurposes our current Cooke Library with a design that features multiple entrances from the Academy Quad. The new grand entrance from Rice (Middle) Field creates a fluid connection from the Junior School through the Academy campus.


The Academy Learning Commons is envisioned as a gathering space designed to foster engagement, collaboration and connection.


The building will feature extensive outdoor, covered gathering spaces, charging stations and generous lānais on four sides. Students and faculty will enjoy covered outdoor seating for studying, collaborating and socializing, protected from the sun and rain.


The Cooke Library Collection of books and resources will be housed in a bright and modern open space to maximize natural light and inspire creativity and connection.


Increased indoor study space will provide ample areas for Academy students to work. The new layout will create more inviting spaces for collaborative group gatherings and individual study and research.


Enclosed space will include technology-rich rooms that will allow for silent study as well as formal and informal gatherings by student government, clubs, faculty, and the larger Punahou community.


A new café space with indoor and outdoor seating will offer students a dynamic, creative environment where they can eat, study and socialize.


A light-filled overlook will include a view into the café below. This upper level will provide room for student meetings, study areas or gallery exhibitions.


An eight stove-top food design lab and teaching kitchen will support interdisciplinary learning for K – 12 students.


Located in the Academy Learning Commons café, a grab-and-go kiosk will offer fresh, healthy and convenient food options for busy Academy students and faculty.


The building will house our digital and traditional Archives, imaging rooms, vault space and student and faculty archival teaching spaces.


Two new design labs paired with an additional classroom space will provide an excellent education in traditional design theories and practices, along with creating pathways that will empower Punahou students as leaders in the new virtual and augmented reality worlds that are rapidly emerging.

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How can we transform a space
to inspire wonder?

The K – 12 Learning Commons are a reimagining of our libraries into a dynamic intellectual hub where students can find their purpose and passion, creating space for the yet unimagined.

The first phase of this undertaking, the Junior School Learning Commons (kindergarten – grade 8), has been inspiring students since it opened in 2019. The second and final phase, the Academy Learning Commons (grades 9 – 12), will structurally repurpose the School’s current Cooke Library. The new LEED certified design reconnects grades 9 – 12 to the center of campus, creates collaborative new spaces for learning and innovation, enhances project-based learning and sparks imagination at a time when the world has been transformed by an innovation-driven economy.

For information about leadership giving opportunities to support this project, please contact Punahou’s Senior Director of Development, Wendy Chang, at or 808.943.3626. Contact information for additional Advancement staff can be found here.

The Academy Learning Commons is being planned and designed by Honolulu-based WhiteSpace Architects, which was founded by Pip White ’66 and is now led by current parent Laura Ayers.

Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. is the general contractor for the project.

Lower Level Floor Plan
Upper Level Floor Plan

Estimated completion: 2025

Educating for the Future

We invite you to learn more about the educational programming and events supported by the future Academy Learning Commons through these recent articles: