Miller Hull

East County Office and Archives receives 2020 Orchid Award for Architecture

10-2-2020 | Press Releases


SAN DIEGO, Oct. 2, 2020 The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP, an internationally recognized architecture, planning, urban and interior design firm, received a 2020 Orchid Award for Architecture for the San Diego East County Office & Archives from the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

Completed in 2019, the East County Office and Archives is slated to be the first certified Net Zero Energy archive facility in the United States, housing several local governmental and administrative departments in Santee, California. This reimagined civic resource is a welcoming, highly functional building, creating a healthy work environment and supporting nearly 60 employees. Visitors can access services ranging from property records and tax collection to historical records and civil wedding ceremonies.

“C.W. Driver and our team worked very closely with the County of San Diego to help realize this groundbreaking project,” said Genc Berisha, architect at Miller Hull. “Everyone is extremely proud of what this building accomplishes, so it’s rewarding to see it receive such enthusiastic recognition from the jury and the community.”

As a front door to local government, the design provides a sense of civic pride and openness to all the resources the County of San Diego has to offer. The new building creates access and prioritizes efficiency while focusing on building user health and highlighting the area’s surrounding beauty. Expected to receiving LEED Gold Certification, the East County Office and Archives aligns with the County’s long-term energy and sustainability goals and serves as a model for future buildings to help push healthy, sustainable design forward.

“An incredible, sustainable and thoughtful project that will stand beautifully the passage of time,” said this year’s jury. “It is impressive how much they could do with limited financial resources. We need more outstanding civic buildings like this!”

Presented by the San Diego Architectural Foundation, the Orchids & Onions Awards brings San Diegans together to decide which parts of the built environment make the city a better place to live. An Orchid Award goes to projects that exemplify good placemaking and contribute to the community, while an Onion Award is a missed opportunity, the opposite of an Orchid Award.

The jury for the 2020 Orchids & Onions Awards included Adonia Akers, Project Executive, DPR Construction; Brett Allen, Associate, VDLA Landscape Architects, President, ASLA San Diego; Dame Brown, Project Engineer, ISEC; Daniela Deutsch, Principal, Executive Architects, Professor, NSAD; Ione Stiegler, Partner, IS Architecture; Katie Popolow, Principal, The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP; Matthew Wells, Partner, Hanna Gabriel Wells; Rocio Gertler, Principal/Design Director LDG Landscape Architects; Shawn Dixon, Interior Design Director, Gensler; Simon Ha, Partner, Steinberg Hart; Stacey Lankford Pennington, Founder, SLP Urban Planning; and Steve Florman, Founder, Steven Florman Architecture, Art & Furniture.

For more information about the San Diego Architectural Foundation, the Orchids & Onions Awards and to view all of the selected awards, visit For more information about The Miller Hull Partnership, call (619) 220-0984 or visit

About The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP
The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP is an internationally recognized architecture, planning, urban and interior design firm that creates dynamic and environmentally responsible buildings, striving for a regenerative and inclusive future. The firm has a studio in Seattle and San Diego with work extending across typologies for public and private clients, including single-family, multi-family, mixed-use, civic/public, commercia/private, institutional, higher education, K-12 schools, campus planning, community, cultural, hospitality, gateways, public safety and sustainable infrastructure. Widely recognized for innovative, timeless designs and a partnership-driven practice, Miller Hull has received over 350 awards for design excellence, including the AIA National Firm Award and Architect 50’s Top Firm for Sustainability. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:
Katherine Misel, Communications Specialist
The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP