Experience

I began working as a youg architect in Minnesota with Mulfinger and Susanka Architects, now SALA.

 

In Seattle I worked with The Johnson Partnership. I had the pleasure of designing a bunch of timber-framed homes, many of which were published in FineHomebuilding Magazine.  I designed many remodels as well as many other new homes.

I now have my own practice in Tacoma. For over 20 years I have been fortunate to work on projects all over Washington State, from Bellingham to Stevenson. I have worked on homes in Minnesota, Alaska and British Columbia. Most of my work has been in Tacoma and the surrounds.

I have practiced residential architecture for nearly 35 years. I love working with people in creating new homes out of people's dreams and from the inspiration that we get from their site. Designing is a puzzle; finding solutions that work well and bring joy. Figuring out how to make existing homes work better for my clients as well as to be beautiful spaces is what makes me tick.

I have designed new homes within historical and traditional styles as well as contemporary homes. Regardless of the style, I work on all projects to develop homes that are well-crafted and are timeless in nature.  I have designed many  timber frame homes and homes with ICF and SIP panel construction as well. Whether it's a timber frame, or has exposed beams or open web joists, I particularly love to design homes that express the way they are built.

 

I strive to have great working relationships with the contractors who build the homes I design, as I believe the process is only improved with their input. Many contractors I work with have asked me to design their own homes, which I take great pride in.

Designing homes that use space and materials efficiently is a priority and is, I believe, the first strategy for sustainable design. Throughout my career I have worked with clients who want tight, energy efficient homes that are built responsibly and healthily. I am particularly happy to have designed small homes for Habitat for Humanity for years; small homes that have a extremely low energy costs, which make home ownership easier.

Thank you for your interest in my work,
Jill
 

I love being in the Northwest. I grew up in Minnesota, not far from the Mississippi River, and spent my youth running, biking, and cross-country skiing along the riverbanks. When my husband and I moved to Tacoma for new jobs, I had to get used to some hills! Instead of carrying canoes over portages I learned to love backpacking.

 

My twin sons have grown up as true Northwesterners, without much canoeing experience and preferring to ski downhill rather than slogging up on the skinny skis.  I enjoyed the years they were in school and I could help in their classrooms and do art projects, but those days have passed and they're now finishing college. Now I look forward to the calls I get--perhaps not as often as I would like! I do still have a yellow labrador retriever at home who wants all the attention I can give her!

 

I find gardening and growing my own food important, and work a community garden plot as well as my beds at home. The Northwest is a great place to garden (a much longer growing season than Minnesota!). I like to cook and bake with everything I can grow, particularly if I can share them with my friends.

I have been a maker/do-er from an early age (having recently done some welding!) and I love doing my own tiling, painting, and electrical work. I mostly  on my own home but am always game for helping a friend or two!  My current passion is ceramics. I have loaded my house and my friends' and relatives' houses  with lots of items from my pottery classes. I can walk to my classes from my house - Tacoma is an awesome place to live!

Passions and Interests

About

Outstanding achievement and People’s choice awards, Timber Framers Guild of America, 1995 for the Skagit Valley Timberframe Residence, designed while at the Johnson Partnership

 

AIA Seattle/Seattle times Home of the Month, January 1999 for the West Seattle Residence,  designed with Larry Johnson at the Johnson Partnership

BArch, University of Minnesota, 1987, with highest Honors
BA, 1985, University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts
1980-81, University of Colorado, School of Environmental Design

Awards and Publications

News Tribune, April 2, 2017, "A Gig Harbor Couple Marries Historic with Modern."

http://www.thenewstribune.com/living/home-garden/article141558949.html

 

Fine Homebuilding, Issue 105, November 1996.  “A Compact Timber-Frame House,” Skagit Valley Timberframe Residence, designed while at the Johnson Partnership with Larry Johnson.

 

Fine Homebuilding, Issue 115, May 1998.  “An Island Homestead”, designed while at the Johnson Partnership. 

 

Timberframe Home, by Tedd Bensen  “Craftman’s Way,” pg.32-37.   Skagit Valley Timberframe Residence, designed while at the Johnson Partnership with Larry Johnson.

 

Fine Homebuilding, Issue 204, January 2004.  “Farmhouse Fusion,” designed while at the Johnson Partnership.

 

Patterns of Home, by Jacobson, Silverstein and Winslow, Bellingham Timber Frame Hybrid,

pg 73  and West Seattle Residence, pg 31-32,

Both designed while at the Johnson Partnership.

Affiliations

Education

Registered Architect in Washington State

Member Northwest Ecobuilding Guild

Certified Passivhaus Consultant

JILL SOUSA ARCHITECT

Tacoma, Washington

253.468.9662

No tweet, tumbler, or pin.........  but I am on the Book

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Passivhaus Certified Consultant

Member of Northwest EcoBuild Guild