Day 364/365 of Steel – Robert Hull

Robert Hull was (1945–2014) was an American architect and co-founder of the architectural firm Miller Hull. Hull’s notable works include the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center and the Bullitt Center. Hull began his career working for modernist Marcel Breuer in New York City.

Capitol Hill Loft
Fig 1: Capitol Hill Loft
Photo: © James F. Housel

In 1977, Hull and David Miller founded Miller Hull in Seattle. Hull’s architectural style has been characterized as pragmatic and modernist. His buildings reflect a sensitivity to context, or “sense of place”, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
1310 East Union Condominiums (2001) (Seattle).

The project occupies a very small urban site on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Bounded by buildings on three sides, the architects maximized the structure’s height by building to zoning limit, taking advantage of additional natural light and views of the city beyond.

Capitol Hill Loft
Fig 2: Capitol Hill Loft
Photo: © Mark Woods

The steel structure conveys a sense of lightness and transparency. Given the small site with virtually no lay-down area, the steel structure provided the contractor with a rapid erection sequence. It also facilitated off-site fabrication of many structural elements. The primary gravity load system was coated with fire retardant intumescent paint where the diagonal bracing and mezzanine structure is exposed steel.

Capitol Hill Loft
Fig 3: Capitol Hill Loft
Photo: © Mark Woods

The north and south facades, fully glazed floor to ceiling, maximize light transmission and preserve the connection to the outdoors. Plans of the loft-style units are completely open with only the bathrooms enclosed. Interior materials include: concrete floors, exposed steel structural elements, steel railings, steel plate baseboards and modular metal kitchen casework supporting butcher-block counters.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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