Philip K. White
Principal AIA 

Pip began his career in architecture over 30 years ago, inspired by an innate sense of aesthetics and environmental sensitivity coupled with personal values of integrity and resourcefulness. When he founded Philip White Architects in 1983, he infused the firm with a spirit of purpose and a deep understanding of design.

With over 30 years of experience in the architectural industry, Philip White, better known as Pip, has assembled a diverse portfolio of projects including custom homes, commercial centers, hotels, and public spaces – on every major Hawaiian island. His leadership as president of WhiteSpace Architects inspires consistently excellent work, earning the firm awards for both residential and commercial projects.

As a seventh generation kama’aina and itinerant world traveler, Pip truly understands design and what characteristics make Hawaiian architecture unique and appropriate for an island lifestyle. His “signature” style is a product of his belief that each project should uniquely reflect the combination of client, location and climate. He acknowledges that architects are often entrusted with helping people realize their dreams, and he is grateful for that privilege.

Pip is a family man, an active member of his community and a thoughtful mentor. Through his leadership roles on several nonprofit boards including the Asia Pacific Center for Architecture, the Hawaii Architectural Foundation, and the AIA Honolulu, he has helped shape the islands’ architectural community and many of its future leaders. As one would expect from someone born and raised in Hawai’i, Pip holds family and surfing dear to his heart as well as his two rambunctious dogs, Kawena and Kahea.

Laura Ayers
Principal AIA, LEED AP BD+C • 

Laura joined Philip White Architects 15 years ago and has partnered with Pip on many of the company’s most notable and award-winning commercial and residential projects. She has emerged as a highly talented architect and meticulous project manager whose commitment has earned her an ownership role with our firm.

Laura is a sharp, talented architect able to handle the rigors of a demanding profession with a friendly smile and sense of humor. Laura is highly respected by her clients and colleagues for her design sense and project management skills. As a principal at WhiteSpace, Laura brings high-level design skills, organizational excellence and the ability to manage diverse teams.

Laura received her B.S. at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and her M.Arch., summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan. Her undergraduate curriculum included a year at the prestigious École d/Architecture La Villette in Paris, France. She is also currently a member of the American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter and a LEED AP.

By leading seminars on green building technology and completion of multiple sustainable projects, Laura is considered a rising star in sustainable design in Honolulu. She also organizes leadership workshops for young architects to help them each formulate a roadmap to leadership in the profession and community. When not in the office, Laura loves spending time with her husband and two young children.

Joanna Griffith
Project Architect AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Joanna Griffith brings a passion for sustainable and community-enriching design to each of her projects. A LEED AP and recent president of USGBC Hawaii, Joanna is the office’s go-to person for all things “green.”

After receiving her B.S. of Architecture from the University of Minnesota, Joanna earned her Doctorate of Architecture from the University of Hawaii. Her time studying architecture at the Danish International School in Copenhagen led to a love of Scandinavian design and fika coffee breaks.

Out of the office, you can find Joanna and her husband chasing after their mischievous toddler son while exploring the island’s mountains and beaches.

Jin Park
Project Designer  AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Jin Park is WhiteSpace’s resident technical guru and production specialist. With an impeccable attention to detail, he plays an integral part of our team by ensuring that each project is of the highest quality. Jin’s quiet sense of humor and never-ending patience make him our go-to guy on so many levels.

Jin received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Hawaii School of Architecture and is currently working towards becoming a licensed architect in the State of Hawaii. Concerned with making the most of our cultural and environmental resources here in the islands, Jin is a certified LEED AP with a specialty in building design and construction. He brings over 14 years of experience in the field of high-end residential and commercial/retail design to the firm.

Having lived in Hawaii since the age of three, Jin enjoys finding new restaurants to test and spending time with his growing family. Jin rides a classic motorcycle, cruising into the office each day in style.

Elyse Takashige
Project Architect  AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

A graduate of McKinley High School and the University of Southern California School of Architecture, Elyse has nurtured a passion for drawing from the time she was young and thought, even as a pre-teen, that architecture might be her career path. At USC she confirmed that architecture was the lens through which she wanted to view the world. To her, working at WhiteSpace is about creative problem-solving—as she explains, “coming up with effective solutions that merge client desires with what is possible to construct.”

In addition to being a licensed architect – which she calls her proudest professional achievement to date – Elyse earned the LEED AP BD+C credential, which certifies her as an expert on the design and construction of green buildings.

Her current projects include a new classroom building for Kailua’s Atherton Preschool (part of the KCAA Preschools of Hawaii), a luxury residential renovation in Kahala and the new Searider Productions’ facility at Waianae High School.

In her free time, Elyse serves as co-chair of AIA Honolulu’s 2017 Canstruction® competition and canned-food drive. Since its launch in 2006, the drive has donated more than 350,000 pounds of canned food to the Hawaii Foodbank. After competing for the past four years, Elyse decided to help lead what she calls her “favorite AIA event.”

She is also a governing board member of the SEEQS charter school in Kaimukī and serves on its Facilities Committee.

Ana Molinar-Ruiz

Ana’s keen eye makes her one of the office’s go-to designers. She approaches every project as a unique puzzle and enjoys finding the best design solution to meet the client’s needs.

She received her B.S. of Architecture, magna cum laude, from Texas Tech University in 2012. Ana proceeded to gain work experience and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her passion is the study of vernacular and bioclimatic architecture and its effects on human perception.

Newest to Oahu, she is also our office’s most fervent island explorer. On weekends you can usually find her trying out a new hike, beach or restaurant with her husband.

Tara Onekea
Office Manager 

Tara Onekea is the newest member of our team. She was born, raised and resided here all of her life and calls Oahu her home.

Tara started as an Office Manager in the construction industry 20 years ago and loves what she does. Her experience and background help to produce an efficient workflow in the office.

Being family oriented, you can find her spending the weekends with her daughter Tayliana or her many siblings and their families. In her free time, she enjoys continually working on her house, which she had completed building two years ago.