Miller Hull

Kitsap County Administration Building

Port Orchard, WA
The care, concern and environmental sensitivity that went into the construction of this new structure sets it apart from nearly any other government building in the region. Norman D. Dicks, (former) U.S. Representative, Washington State, 6th District
Client Kitsap County
Size 70,000 SF
Completion 2006


The Kitsap County Administration Building sits atop a bluff with an impressive view overlooking the Bremerton Naval Shipyards. When the steep hillside site with a 54-foot change in grade was initially presented and evaluated as a potential location to extend a civic campus, we immediately recognized the challenging site provided an inherent and exciting opportunity to meet stakeholder environmental goals through earth sheltering, rainwater harvesting, daylighting of interior spaces and natural ventilation.

Conceived as a series of stepped terraces arranged around a central vertical circulation core, the terraced floors reduce building scale facing the adjacent neighborhood while maintaining a civic presence toward other County buildings. The building is oriented along an east-west axis, allowing full glazing along the north side of the building for better working light and large overhangs on the south to reduce glare. Terracing the building into the hillside allowed for multiple, smaller, floor plates with an open-office seating plan. The open office spaces are based on a narrower European office concept built around everyone being within 30-feet of a window. Deeper office areas are accented by skylights, and where windows occur, an ability to open them to fresh air is provided.

Kitsap County’s willingness to engage an integrated design approach with sustainability as part of the larger design process enabled us to push the boundaries of conventional systems and construction methodologies to reduce energy consumption, save water and create a building that contributes positively to employee performance and comfort.