Hillier: The Garden State’s Most Iconic Architects

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J. Robert Hillier, FAIA

J. Robert Hillier, FAIA, is a more than 45 year veteran of the profession, having launched his career as a sole practitioner in Princeton, N.J. in 1966. In addition to design excellence, he is known for his business acumen, which earned him the title of New Jersey’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine in 1989.

Hillier built his Princeton firm, Hillier Architecture, to become the nation’s third largest architectural firm. In 2007, it merged with RMJM of Scotland to become the third largest architectural firm in the world. In 2009, he started another firm in Princeton, J. Robert Hiller, which designs and develops local projects. Hillier is also the majority owner of Princeton Magazine, a lifestyle magazine, and Princeton’s leading newspaper, Town Topics.

Hiller has completed projects all over the world, including international schools, mixed-use projects and corporate headquarters, for which he and his firms have received over 300 state, national and international design awards. Some of his most notable projects include the restoration of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., and GlaxoSmithKline’s worldwide headquarters in London.

Through his activities as both architect and developer, Hillier has preserved over 300 acres of land in New Jersey, contributed to the supply of affordable housing in the state by transforming abandoned properties into residences and helped preserve the state’s architectural heritage by restoring historic buildings.

He’s also a visiting lecturer at Princeton University, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Hillier has also received numerous personal awards, including the Michael Graves Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) in 2007 and the New Jersey Institute of Technology President’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2009.

I think the key to success is that you have to be a good designer, you have to be able to sell good design, and you have to be able to sell yourself. They’re all bundled up together. Robert Hillier

Other posts in this series:

Michael Graves, FAIA

Richard Meire, FAIA

Eleanore Pettersen, FAIA

Malcolm Holzman, FAIA

Malcolm Wells, FAIA

Peter Eisenman, FAIA

William H. Short, FAIA

David Childs, FAIA

Fred Wesley Wentworth, FAIA

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