The Natatorium, Angkor Wat and the Tower of London?

The War Memorial Natatorium has stood physically on the shores of Waikiki since 1927.

Now it also stands there virtually, captured — in three dimensions — by a stream of zeroes and ones.

3D Digital Model

Natatorium Front I

California-based nonprofit CyArk, working with our friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has just created a digital model of the Natatorium. They bounced laser light off the walls, bleachers and decks to get millions of highly accurate measurements. With high-tech computer modeling tools, those measurements are being converted into a 3D onscreen model that can be rotated, studied and manipulated. [How do they do it? Details here.]

Thebes and Ankgor Wat?

CyArk will add the digital model to an online collection of global cultural treasures that already includes the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico, ancient Thebes in Egypt, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Tower of London and America’s own Mount Rushmore.

What Will We Do With It?

The National Trust and Friends of the Natatorium will use the model to help tell the story of the Natatorium. And we’ll use it to show how this great, historic ocean pool can be preserved, rehabilitated and reopened to honor Hawaii’s World War I veterans, as it was built to do. And for all of us ocean swimmers and our ohana to enjoy again.

See a Sample

Here’s a sample image from the project. To the right, you can see color that represents the intensity of the reflected laser light during the scanning process. To the left, a more processed scan with true-to-life color.

Natatorium Transition

The Natatorium like you’ve never seen it before!


You can learn more about the project in a news release from CyArk and the National Trust.

A special “Mahalo!” to teachers from Honolulu’s Mid-Pacific Institute who assisted with the project!

And our deepest thanks, of course, to great friends and allies at CyArk and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, Images, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Uncategorized.