About Us

Ellen Mirro

Ellen F. C. Mirro

Howard Miller

Howard Miller

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

Larry Johnson

Larry E. Johnson

Katherine Jaeger

Katherine V. Jaeger

Audrey Reda

Audrey N. Reda

Who We Are & What We Do

The Johnson Partnership is a professional architecture firm, licensed in Washington (1980), Oregon (2010), and Maryland (2017). We provide full architectural services for a variety of projects including but not limited to the following:

  • New Residences
  • Remodels and renovations
  • Restoration
  • Timberframe
  • Commercial and tenant improvement
  • Institutional, educational, and other projects

We offer specialty services in stewardship, including historic preservation and landmark COA Low Impact “Green” Design. All of our project architects are LEED Accredited Professionals. We also specialize in Timberframe and log construction.

We invite you to explore our portfolio, and to learn more about our firm and our Architectural Design Process. While Architecture is our primary business, we are also recognized for our Historic Resources Consulting and Environmental Planning Services.

The Johnson Partnership is located in the Roosevelt Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. We are licensed to practice architecture in Washington, Oregon, and Maryland and have designed projects in a wide range of locations in these states. In addition to our architectural services we provide environmental planning and historic resources consulting.

In 2018, Howard Miller, Ellen Mirro, and Steve Campbell, architects and long-time employees of the firm, purchased the business from Larry and Lani Johnson. Lani and Larry founded The Johnson Partnership in 1979. Over the next 40 years, Larry led the firm’s architectural projects, which included a residence awarded AIA Home of the Month in January 1999. Lani led the firm’s planning projects, including complex environmental reviews for public and private concerns, such as the Port of Seattle’s Central Waterfront Project. The Johnson Partnership’s thriving practice builds on Larry’s and Lani’s innumerable contributions.

Value We Bring

Our services add value itself. Not only do we add the value to the end result of a project, but also the design process itself has value, as it allows for prioritization and creative solution. Also, as a firm we always keep the financial aspects of our projects in mind, respecting client’s needs for responsible budgets, credibility, and long-term appreciation. Furthermore, excellence in design also brings intangible benefits to you.

Stewardship. Stewardship is the key word in describing our overall approach and office philosophy. We are here to care for something. Everything we do, we strive to accomplish responsibly, with deep respect for the environment (natural & social), cultural heritage, and clients’ needs. This is a much broader concept than simply “being green,” although “greenness” is clearly subsumed within our notion of stewardship. Our practice of architecture & planning is a type of stewardship. New and renewed buildings become part of the environment, as well as reflect it. Environmental planning emphasizes avoiding, minimizing, and/or mitigating adverse effects. Our services involving heritage buildings, whether preservation, restoration, renovation, historical analysis, or academic contributions, also accomplish stewardship of cultural resources.

Depth. The depth of our experience, both in years and range, sets us apart from many firms Our depth also shows in thoughtful personal attention to our clients, and in our extensive working knowledge of the design and planning processes.

Detail. Details are a key focus in our practice – in every way from carrying a project from conceptual design through final detailing – as well as in research, and attending to the details of project administration. We appreciate fine detailing, and attention to details is one of our strengths. However, we see both “the forest and the trees.” Details fit carefully within the overarching context of our architectural designs and other projects. They enhance, rather than obscure, the creative vision.

Resourcefulness. Creativity takes many paths in our practice. We think broadly in developing creative solutions to our clients’ needs throughout the entire project process, and we use resources carefully. We also consider how resources will be used over time to allow buildings to adapt and meet principles of universal design and accessibility.

Comfort. Our goal is to create comfortable spaces, and for our clients to be comfortable with the design process that helps achieve that. Comfort includes warmth, respect for function, and an element of timelessness. A great design simply feels right, but the process of getting there is not always straightforward. Our staff is friendly and eager to assist you with your project. We emphasize good communication in our design projects and use a variety of methods to do this, since good communication is key to a comfortable process and a successful project.

Partnership. We are a service profession, and we work collaboratively with our clients, contractors, consultants, craftspeople, artists, etc., as well as together in our office. We essentially “partner” with our clients to fulfill a vision or complete a project. We are there all along to guide the process, whether it be architectural design, environmental analysis, or historic preservation. We address project challenges, share the joys of creative solutions, and take projects all the way through completion.

Recognition

Awards

Riviera Place Remodel

REX Award, Remodeling excellence, 2006; Master Builders Association (with Marquiss Construction Co.)

Schmitz Park Residence

Seattle Times/AIA Home of the Month for January 1999.

Skagit Valley Timberframe

“Excellent Achievement Award”, Timber Framers Guild National Convention in Virginia, June 1995 “People’s Choice” Award, Timber Framers Guild National Convention in Virginia, June 1995.

Books

Examples of our work can be found in the following books:

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The Vintage House: A guide to Successful Renovations and Additions, Mark Alan Hewitt & Gordon Bock, W.W. Norton Company Inc., New York, NY, pp. 85-91.

The New Bungalow Kitchen, Peter LaBau, The Taunton Press, Newtown, CT, 2007, pp.6, 23, 28, 53, 68, 72, 88,94,116, 121, 136, 138, 149, 152, 153, 160, 177, 190, 205, 208, 209, 213 & 214.

Bungalow Details:Interior, Jane Powell and Linda Svendson, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Salt Lake City, UT, 2006, pp.38, 40, 49, 61, 113, 170, 202 & 203.

Bungalow Nation, Diane Maddox and Alexander Vertikoff, Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY, 2003, pp.80 & 96.

Bungalow Bathrooms, Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen, Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City, UT, 2001, p.108.

Timberframe: The Art and Craft of the Post-and-Beam Home, Todd Benson, The Taunton Press, Newtown, CT, 2001, pp.32-37.

Inside the Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Interior, Paul Duchscherer and Douglas Keister, Penguin Studio, New York, NY, 1997, pp.52 & 72.

Outside the Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Garden, Paul Duchscherer and Douglas Keister, Penguin Studio, New York, NY, 1999, pp.75 & 164.

More Small Houses, Fine Homebuilding: Great Houses, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT, 1998, pp.8-13, 140-145.

Periodicals

Examples of our work can be found in the following periodicals:

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“Merry magnificence will be on display at the Magnolia Holiday Home Tour,” Seattle Times Pacific NW Magazine, November 25, 2016, pp. 16-18.

“A Kitchen Connected,” Fine Homebuilding: Kitchens & Baths, Winter 2016, pp. 38-41.

“Mac’s Shack, a Whimsical Beach Cabin,” Arts & Crafts Homes and the Revival, Spring 2014, pp. 56-57.

Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine, February 10, 2013, pp. 8-11, “Into the Woods.”

Old House Interiors, April 2013, pp.21-25, “Efficient Makeover.”

Fine Homebuilding, April/May 2011, p. 42, “Structural Solutions for Small Bump-Outs.”

Fine Homebuilding Kitchens & Baths, November, 2010, p. 72-73 “Small Additions Can Make a Big Difference.”

Arts & Crafts Homes and the Revival, November, 2010, p. 38-45, “Rescue for a Tudor.” Although not credited as the architects in the article, we assisted the owners of the featured historic house with stewardship.

Old House Journal, November, 2010, p. 38-39, “The 20th Century Bath.”

Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine, October 10, 2010, pp. 30-34, “Saving Grace.”

Seattle Homes and Lifestyles, May, 2010, p. 54, “New Kitchen, Old Influences.”

Old House Journal, March-April 2009, pp. 62-63 “Kitchen Confidential”

Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine, May 18, 2008, pp. 36-42, “A Tudor Revival.”

Seattle Homes and Lifestyles, September, 2003, pp. 79-80, “Less Is More: Small Spaces Don’t Keep These Master Baths from Livin’ Large.”

The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine, February 27, 2000, pp. 79-80, “AIA Homes of the Year.”

Fine Homebuilding, May, 1998, pp. 110-115, “An Island Homestead.”

Timber Framing, The Journal of the Timber Framer Guild, September, 1995, p. 7, “1995 Design Awards”

The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine, September 21, 2003, pp. 12-14, “A Revelation in Leschi”

The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine, June 23, 2002, pp.8-11, “A Respect for Vintage.”

Fine Homebuilding, November, 1996, pp. 98-103, “A Compact Timer-Frame Farmhouse.”

The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine, October 20, 1996, pp. 12-16, “A Light Retreat”

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Affiliations

Logo is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used by permission.

Other Regional and Local Organizations

  • Society of Architectural Historians, Marian Dean Ross Chapter
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority

Pro Bono & Community Involvement

The following are some of the many not-for-profit organizations to which our firm, as a group, and/or its employees, individually, have actively contributed. We all want to make a difference.

  • Roosevelt Neighborhood Association
  • Queen Anne Historic Society
  • Northwest School
  • Northwest Montessori School
  • Roosevelt High School – Design Review, Site Council, and Land Use Departures Committees
  • Seattle Audubon Society
  • Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail
  • Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Center for Wooden Boats
  • Sail Sand Point
  • Early Music Guild
  • KEXP FM
  • Theatre Simple
  • Town Hall
  • Seattle Goodwill

Frequently Asked Questions

What geographical areas do you serve?

Our office is located in Seattle, Washington, north of the University District. We are licensed for Architecture in Washington and Hawaii. However, we have also designed homes in Oregon, British Columbia, Texas, Japan, and we have the ability to be licensed in other states with enough lead-time, if required.

Do you use CAD/BIM software?

We use what we consider the finest architectural software available on the market, Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD, allowing us to design within a three-dimensional environment. Our clients are able to see their projects develop from simple sketches to three-dimensional models in early design stages and can direct alternative configurations or design changes we can show them on the fly. The software also allows us to quickly move from design to construction documentation, expediting the time it takes to get your project under construction and completed.

 

Do clients work directly with an architect or are assistants employed?

For most residential projects you’ll be working with one or two individuals, at least one of them will be a principal or associate architect. One of your design team will always be available to answer questions and deal with issues as they arise.

How do you work with contractors or builders?

We expect the contractor to be a member of the project team and approach the project in a positive and cooperative attitude. We do not select or hire your contractor – you do. We may act as an advisor in helping to select the contractor and will assist you with the bidding and/or negotiation process. Some of our clients have already selected a contractor before our first meeting. If you don’t have a contractor already that you would like to use we can provide you with a list of Northwest regional contractors that, from our experience, have proven records of successful projects. We always welcome new qualified contractors to our list.

How does the design process work, and where can I get more information?

Many of our clients have never hired an architect before. As architects specializing in residential design, part of our early contact with many new clients involves helping clients learn what they should be expecting from us, and how the design process will unfold over time, resulting in the successful realization of their project. The following information is provided to assist you:

National AIA’s website

The Johnson Partnership offers design process information that we designed specifically to assist residential clients. Based on our years of experience, our information packet offers detailed information and examples that help explain the architectural process and how our office works with clients.

How long does the process take?

Although we focus on moving our client’s projects forward through design and into construction, planning for your project takes time and you should never feel rushed – remodeling or building a new home is a major investment in time and money, and taking the time to make sure that things are right is worth the effort. You should figure on a few months for a small residential remodel, to a year or more for larger residential projects. Once the project scope has been determined, we should be able to give you an approximation of how long your project will take until project completion.

How Long it Takes

How much do you charge for your services and how is this fee structured?

Our professional methodology and fee structure allows us to tailor our services to reflect the difficulty of the project, while defining a scope of professional services required to successfully design and construct your project. We can bill on a straight percentage of the construction cost or provide professional services based on a “time and materials” basis utilizing a detailed professional fee estimate reflecting the anticipated scope of services. As an advisory fee guideline architectural service usually amount to 8-12% for new homes and 10-15% for home remodels. We begin with a simple letter agreement that covers approximately 20-30% of our estimated fee, and finish with a standard AIA professional fee contract that addresses more complicated issues such as procedures and liability.

What are some of your architectural specialty services?

The Johnson Partnership is particularly skilled in assisting owners of vintage or landmark (local or national register) homes, and providing design services for those clients wishing a low-impact “Green” home, or one incorporating traditional construction methods, such as a timberframing or log construction.

  

Besides Architecture, what other services do you provide?

Our firm also provides consulting services for historic resource consulting and environmental planning.

Why consider the Johnson Partnership as your Architect?

  • Detail ColumnEstablished track record (since 1979) of excellent client service and reliability.
  • Integration of 3-D modeling throughout the design process.
  • Careful attention in design and detail throughout the entire process.
  • Experience with new construction, remodels, restoration, and reuse.
  • Experience with both conventional and timberframe design.
  • Experience with design review and permit processes.
  • Thoughtful sensitivity to unique qualities of each site and project.
  • Commitment to protecting our environment and heritage.
  • And – most important – excellence in design.