SOUTH AFRICA—Robert Hull, co-founder of the Miller Hull Partnership and the man behind the waterfront designs of San Diego’s The Wharf and Pier 32 marinas, died April 8 from stroke complications in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was 68.
According to a press release from the Miller Haul Partnership, Hull had a “natural ability to grasp the essence of a project and translate it into an inspired physical manifestation of client values.”
Pier 32, which sits at the mouth of the Sweet Water Channel in National City, broke ground in March 2007. The marina offers complete deep water access, as well as a 20-acre state-of-the-art waterfront facility. The Wharf, located in San Diego’s Shelter Island, is America’s Cup Harbor and has won prominent architectural awards for its design, including the 2009 Community Beautification Award and The Orchids and Onions Award.
In Hull’s 46-year career, he received numerous honors for his significant ventures which impacted the Pacific Northwest and San Diego areas. His company received the 2003 AIA National Firm Award for sustained design excellence. Alongside business partner David Miller, whom Hull met while studying architecture at Washington State University, the duo propelled the company to prominence with their innovative designs.
The Miller Hull Partnership was established in Seattle in 1977, but has footprints throughout the West Coast. Hull’s designs were known for their susceptibility in fitting in well with their settings.
His design credits include: The Open Window, Epiphany, Bertschi and Bush Schools in Seattle, Conibear Shellhouse at the University of Washington and the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. In Oregon, his work includes the Tillamook Forest Center and Yaquina Interpretive Center on the Oregon Coast.
Hull, who served four years in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, designed more than 100 sustainable schools while in the Middle East. He recently led a design of a health clinic and girl’s school in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan.
“Those who have benefited from the power of his inspirational work are legion,” the release said. “And among his many talents, he was gifted in the art of beautiful hand drawn design concepts. At ease in the public forum, he was a respected and sought after speaker, and he participated in numerous regional and national design juries, including the national AIA Honor Awards.”
Hull is survived by his wife and two sons. A funeral service was held in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday, April 13.