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Peter has always been versatile and creative in his design capabililties while being attentive to the vision and desires of his client. He maintains a realistic approach while incorporating inspiring environments with appropriate detailing.
— Cary Kerbel, developer

Peter M. Nicholas

Founder / President / AIA / NCARB                                                    


Peter Nicholas established Nicholas Architects in 1989, which was later changed to Nicholas Clark Architects and then to Nicholas Design Collaborative.   Prior to the formation of NDC, Mr. Nicholas worked in Chicago at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Booth/Hansen and Associates where he gained much experience on larger scale commercial building types and the art of detailing.  He also worked at Buss, Silvers, Hughes and Associates in San Diego and Bower, Lewis and Thrower Architects in Philadelphia before moving to Chicago in 1985.   The decision to move to Chicago from his native California was strongly influenced by his interest in urban architecture.  Mr. Nicholas has won several awards and led numerous single family, multi-family, mixed use, urban design, adaptive re-use, and commercial interior projects.  His interest in exploring all aspects of the design and construction process has resulted in the formation of the design/build corporation, NCA Build, Ltd., and the completion of several projects while acting as architect, general contractor and real estate developer. 

Mr. Nicholas has been a visiting critic at Cal Poly Pomona, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.   Mr. Nicholas has been involved in Skokie, Illinois as the Chairman of the Zoning Commission which has been instrumental in implementing changes to the Skokie Zoning Ordinance with the goal of establishing downtown Skokie as a transportation oriented district.  Mr. Nicholas has recently become involved in the Chicago community of Rogers Park, where he was appointed as a Board Member of the Rogers Park Business Alliance.

Outside of work, Mr. Nicholas is involved in the lives of his two sons, Andreas, a filmmaker in New York City and a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, and William, a furniture maker in San Francisco and graduate of California College of the Arts.  He also enjoys cycling, tennis, cooking, music and gardening. 



Registered Architect - State of Illinois, State of California


University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts, Master of Architecture

California State University, Pomona, Bachelor of Architecture Concentration of Study in Urban Design. 

California State University International Program, Florence, Italy, Academic year study abroad


American Institute of Architects (AIA) – 25 year Member

National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) – Member

Independent Merchants of Downtown Skokie – Board Member 2006 - 2011

Skokie Zoning Commission – Commission Chairman 2008 - 2009

Rogers Park Business Alliance – Board Member 2013 - 2014

Rogers Park Builders Group  - Associate Member 2013 - 2014

Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians - Board Member 2016