Loom House

Architect: Miller Hull Partnership, LLP

Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington

Category: One- and Two-Family Custom Residences

Sitting on a landscaped bluff overlooking Puget Sound, this renovation of a classic mid-century home and standalone office is a model for home renovation using resilient retrofitting strategies. Through net positive energy and water, food production, and adherence to a strict materials list, Loom House is on target to become the first residential remodel certified as a living building by the International Living Future Institute.

From the outset of the project in 2017, it was clear that the clients were focused on an extremely energy-efficient renovation based on their long history of running a foundation that strives for a more equitable and environmentally responsible world. As the team and client’s relationship blossomed, the team recognized that the Living Building Challenge framework aligned with the clients’ stewardship and social justice values. It took the clients just one weekend to accept the proposal, and they committed to collecting their drinking water, reducing energy use and collecting it through photovoltaics, and growing their food. Though the local code would not allow them to do so at that point, they also agreed to treat their grey and blackwater in their front yard.

“This renovation is intentional and thoughtful across the board, seamlessly integrating new and old,”- Jury comment

“This renovation is intentional and thoughtful across the board, seamlessly integrating new and old,” said the jury. “This shows that design can be beautiful and meet the Living Building Challenge. The project uses principles of sustainability in a didactic way and considered environmental outcomes beyond the site. This project takes it as its mission to model environmental performance for the community and offers larger lessons for the field.”

The redesign maintains the original character of the Bainbridge Island, Washington, home, including the dark palette that identifies it. The team drew inspiration from the colors and natural surroundings as it made material selections. A new entry bridge offers a curated path through the site, including soaring, 200-foot-tall evergreens and new ornamental plantings, delivering both residents and visitors to a redefined main entrance.

Inside, the original home’s maze of small rooms was reconfigured into an open great room with a stair that leads down a primary suite that replaced an underused garage. Throughout, triple-glazed windows and skylights help maintain connections with the adjacent sound while providing generous daylight and ventilation.

The interiors weave together the mission of the clients’ foundation and the natural surroundings of their island property. Artisans and craftspeople lent special touches to the home, including turning wisteria branches into light fixtures and door handles and transforming the fireplace into a sculptural light element.

Additional information

Architect: The  Miller Hull Partnership, LLP

Interior Designer: Charlie Hellstern Interior  

Design General Contractor: Clark Construction, LLC

Landscape Architect: Anne  James Landscape Architecture LLC

Structural Engineer: Quantum Consulting  

Engineers Mechanical Engineer: WSP Water

Consultant: Biohabitats

Civil Engineer: Seabold Engineering LLC

Geotechnical Engineer: Aspect Consulting  LLC

Envelope Consultant: JRS Engineering

Lighting Consultant: Lighting  Designs, Inc.


Ceara O’Leary, AIA (Chair), Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Detroit, MI

Allison Anderson, FAIA, unabridged Architecture, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Kelly Beamon, METROPOLIS, New York, NY

Alex Salazar, AIA, Salazar Architect, Portland, Oregon

Roberta Washington, FAIA, Roberta Washington Architects, New York, NY

Image credits

The original path to the Main House and Office arrived at the shared deck in between the two buildings. This allowed visual access to the Puget Sound, but didn’t indicate to visitors which structure to approach upon arrival.

Ben Schauland

Visitors catch a breeze from the Puget Sound as they walk along the entry bridge, getting a sneak peek of the expansive views before entering the house.


The top floor of the Main House is open concept with living, dining and kitchen spaces that extend to the outdoor deck. The existing exterior stair was replaced with a new interior stair, which connects the main and lower garden level.


An exceptional century-old cherry tree provides a gracious canopy for the deck, which connects the Main House and the Office.


Loom House-07