“We started as idealists”
“We started as idealists”, stated David Miller on the idea that would become The Miller Hull Partnership. It began in the villages of Brazil and Afghanistan in the Peace Corps. It was there that founding partners David Miller and Robert Hull were inspired by the raw beauty of indigenous structures. Spartan and elegant in their response to climate and cultural conditions, they were the very essence of sustainable design.
Seattle-based Miller Hull began by designing a series of award winning earth sheltered and solar buildings. The tradition of designing dynamic and environmentally sensitive buildings continues to this day. The firm’s body of work consistently leverages the openness and flexibility of the modernist form to celebrate connections inside and out.
To Brian Court, partner and design lead for District House, Oak Park represents a singular opportunity to design a project in a community renowned for its architecture. “Miller Hull’s portfolio celebrates connections — to people, place and landscape. With District House, we’re honored to deliver a modern design aesthetic inspired by Oak Park’s unique architectural legacy. The project’s strong emphasis on horizontal lines is evocative of the Midwestern landscape, a hallmark of the Prairie School. The deep floor overhangs also function to shade the fully glazed living spaces, enabling views and natural light, while achieving the project team’s environmental goals.”
Ranquist Development Group has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Miller Hull. Court also led the design of 156 West Superior and 747 North Clark, two condominium projects located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. These projects celebrate Chicago’s influence in modernist architecture, emphasizing steel and glass. Similar materiality will give District House an urban feel.
Court has gained a reputation as an advocate for groundbreaking sustainable design. Recently completed projects include the Bullitt Center in Seattle, which is widely cited as the greenest commercial building in the world. He is now leading a deep green “living building” project at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Known for designs that express clarity of concept, attention to context, a sense of authenticity and beauty — bound by progressive environmental responsibility — Miller Hull has earned over 300 local, national and industry design awards. In 2003, Miller Hull received the Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects — the highest industry commendation for architecture firms.
At the heart of their work is a connection to the power of natural surroundings, fitting given the important role the Prairie School has played in Oak Park.