September 20, 2022

Member Spotlight

Nicole Hilton, AIA


Nicole Hilton, AIA, NOMA is the founding principal and design architect at Cole Hil, an emerging full-service architectural design firm focused on education, community development, and commercial project types. Nicole is originally from Austin, Texas, and received her professional architectural degree from Louisiana State University.

Upon becoming licensed, this flagship institution recognized Nicole as the first African American female graduate of Louisiana State University School of Architecture to become a licensed architect. This historical recognition is highly valued by Nicole and contributes to her goals of being a catalyst in the field of Architecture. She attributes her successful career and knowledge to her trailblazer mentors found in Cheryl McAfee, FAIA and John Busby, FAIA.

A few of Nicole’s achievements and leadership roles include being awarded the AIA Georgia John A. Busby medal, Director at Large for AIA Georgia Board of Directors, participating on the Atlanta Regional Commission Millennial leadership committee, 2016 Young GameChanger, speaking at numerous AIA seminars and 2019 NOMA Woman Architect of the Year. Nicole was also a part of the diverse team identified to develop the 2019 AIA National Women of Color Leadership Pipeline.

Currently, the team at Cole Hil has had the privilege of designing premiere architectural projects including numerous projects at Kennesaw State University, Sports Complex located in Douglasville, GA, and the Front Porch, a mixed-use equitable development project located on the historic Auburn Ave in the city of Atlanta. When Nicole is not leading a firm, she is giving back by lecturing and providing design reviews at various colleges and volunteering throughout the community. She also values her time with her family and continues to be inspired by her faith.

Featured Project

The Douglas County High School Sports Complex is a new ground-up Athletic facility designed and built for the first High School in Douglas County established in 1937. The new state-of-the-art facility was built within the footprint of the old field house and grandstand which over the years had fallen into disrepair. Douglas County High School Sports Complex includes a two-story athletic building that houses a community lecture room, coach’s offices, a state-of-the-art locker room, a weight room, a classroom, and an elected community view space with an exterior balcony overlooking the football field and support spaces.

In addition to the athletic facility is a new home grandstand with approximately 3,500 additional seats, team rooms, concessions, and a press box above. The Douglas County High School Sports Complex has served as a vision of the future for Douglas County and raised the level of design excellence which continues to invoke an enhanced pride throughout the community.