New England Design Hall of Fame 2016: Charles F. Hilton
November 3, 2016
Text by Lisa H. Speidel
Meet Charles F. Hilton of Charles Hilton Architects based in Greenwich, Connecticut. New England Home is thrilled to present the tenth annual inductees to the New England Design Hall of Fame. Over the next few days leading up to the Thursday, November 10 gala at The State Room in Boston, we will be featuring all the talented honorees on our blog.
When Charles Hilton talks about architecture, he speaks of his firm’s humanistic approach. “We’re very focused on the user,” he says. “Scale, proportion, quality materials, natural light, energy efficiency—all transcend style.” In short, the goal is to design extremely high-functioning, well-planned and appropriately scaled houses that focus on the people who live in them.
This client-first approach, coupled with designs that are inspired yet timeless, has solidified the Greenwich-based firm’s reputation for building grand houses rooted in traditional architectural principles.
“Most of our work over the years has been fairly traditional,” says Hilton. “But we also believe in building homes for today. We do a lot of traditional exteriors with contemporary interiors.”
Scanning the firm’s recent work uncovers one exquisite property after the next: a residence designed to evoke a French Norman farmhouse; a classic Shingle-style home with coastal New England charm; and a commanding stone Georgian manor house that takes its inspiration from the estate house at New York’s Old Westbury Gardens.
When it comes to seeking his own inspiration, Hilton turns to three primary sources: travel, nature, and—always at arms’ reach—a well-stocked library.
Over two and a half decades, Hilton and his team have received many accolades, including a prestigious national Palladio Award, honoring outstanding achievement in traditional design, and multiple AIA Connecticut and trade publication awards. Most recently, he received the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Corporate Leadership Award for, among other things, his design of the Greenwich September 11th Memorial in Cos Cob Park.
It’s an honor he’s particularly proud of. “I believe very strongly in being a good corporate citizen,” says Hilton, “and I do my best to try to give back through architecture.”
Click here to view a portfolio of Charles Hilton’s work.