President & Principal
Specializing in planning, entitlements and design, Rob lopa has honed his craft through years of experience with several noteworthy firms, including for the past decade with his own, WCIT Architecture. Throughout his career Iopa has led and participated in the development of projects throughout Asia, South America, the South Pacific, and all of the major Islands of Hawaii.
Under Iopa’s leadership and direction, WCIT Architecture has grown from a startup group into one of the largest firms in the State with an impressive international clientele. Iopa was named one of Hawaii’s brightest young leaders (40 under 40) by Pacific Business News, one of the State’s most Influential Leaders for the Next Twenty-Five Years (25 for the next 25) by Hawaii Business Magazine and the 2008 SBA Business Person of the Year for the City and County of Honolulu.
Currently, he maintains a lead role in all of the firm’s projects and heads the design effort for over a dozen projects in Hawaii including the Princess Kaiulani Hotel Redevelopment, the International Marketplace, UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, and the master planning efforts for Ward Villages, Turtle Bay Resort, Makena and Hanalei Plantation Resort. Some of Iopa’s most notable completed projects include the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort, Honua Kai Resort, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua Bay Club & Residences and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel historic renovation to name a few.
A native Hawaiian born and raised in Hilo, he is a respected advocate and creative interpreter of culture, most notably that of the host Hawaiian culture, but also that of the diverse ethnicities of Hawaii. Through this skill set, Iopa demonstrates a unique ability to plan, design and implement sophisticated and complex development proposals and sustainable strategies—proposals and strategies that strive to create uniquely special places and environments that are rooted in the Hawaiian way of life.
Iopa has a Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, is an adjunct professor at the UH-Manoa School of Architecture and served on the AlA Honolulu Board of Directors.
Learn more about the 2013-2014 Daniel Rose Fellowship.