Even if you don’t have an affinity for architecture, you must agree – it is the backbone of any city. It singlehandedly creates the skyline, gives dreams a place to fester, and hosts hustle inside of its walls. The best part of architecture is that it’s a form of creativity. Some of you might be saying, wait, hold up, doesn’t architecture involve equations that ensure the roof doesn’t cave in and crunching numbers to make sure that doors are going to open? Yes, all of that is true. But it’s also an artistic expression, and as such, us admirers are lucky enough to see a variety of different takes on how a building is built, from the inside out. One of DC’s prominent architect groups is the firm Hickok Cole.

This firm does double duty, acting as both an architecture firm and interior design firm for clients. And by the looks of their portfolio, accolades, and reputation – they do it well. So well, in fact, that they are able to call themselves an award-winning firm, with a long list of mantle-worthy words on their resume. A few examples include: Many “Best Real Estate Deals” Awards from the Washington Business Journal, AIA Northern Virginia Award of Merit for Conceptual/ Unbuilt Architecture, a Washington Building Congress (WBC) Craftsmanship Award, Masonry for their work in Interior Stone and Marble, an AIA Northern Virginia Award of Merit for Commercial Architecture, and seriously so many, many more.

The company was formed in the DC area over 29 years ago, by Michael E. Hickok, and later merged with Yolanda Cole’s firm in 2013. Together they had the building, interior design, and management experience plus the local roots and international reach to build out an impressive firm. Today, the firm is led by those two pillars, who still act as senior principals, as well as principals John J, Bisch, CFO, COO, Laurence Caudle, AIA, Director of Housing, Sean P. Wayne, AIA, IIDA< LEED AP, Director of Interior Design, and an impressive backlog of accredited associate principals, senior associates, and associates.

Speaking to their approach to architecture and their portfolio of work in general, the firm claims,

“We believe deeply in the connected power of collaboration among ourselves, our consultants, and especially our clients. We believe good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone; historic precedents or modern cities; a veteran architect or a young intern. Our practice is structure to value broad input, which informs the firm’s design-centric culture, balanced by project management and propelled by research.”

That collaborative and inspired approach to each project has certainly worked well for the firm, judging by their accolades and impressive roster of been there, done that projects. While the list is long, here are a few of the places where you can see the Hickok Cole’s influence around the city:

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The International Spy Museum – Commercial Architecture

455 Eye Street, NW – Multifamily Housing Project

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Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Headquarters – Commercial Architecture

The Corcoran – Mixed Used, Multifamily Housing Project

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Children’s Hospital Association – Commercial Interiors

Truly, the mention of those projects is only a small glimpse into the impact the company has made on the DC landscape, both internal and external, over the years. To fully appreciate what other contributions they have made, please check out their comprehensive portfolio here: https://hickokcole.com/portfolio/

Not only has the firm contributed to DC in the obvious ways, through buildings and interiors, but they are also an active member of the community. They hold a steadfast belief in making time (and giving resources) to philanthropy. Within the firm, they have a “Full Circle Committee,” which oversees efforts into Jubilee Housing, Jubilee Support Alliance, Mi Casa, and other non-profit organizations. Not to mention their sponsorship of notable happenings such as the 25 Acts of Kindness, Miriam’s Kitchen, Washington Project for the Arts’ Art Night, and more.

As an art form, architecture can be subjective. From where I’m sitting, Hickok Cole is doing it right.


All photos courtesy of the Hickok Cole website.

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