AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Brandon Nicholson is a founding principal of Nicholson Kovalchick (NK) Architects, a Seattle-based firm established in 2004 and known for its focus on sustainable, urban infill housing with projects that scale in range from single-family homes to high-rise towers.
Under Brandon’s leadership, NK’s area of expertise has expanded to include building design, development, urban and neighborhood planning, preservation and adaptive reuse, project rescue, and economic feasibility.
Brandon is actively involved with the City of Seattle as a code advocate, and has been instrumental in obtaining much-needed changes to the city’s land-use codes.
Brandon is the recipient of the AIA’s 2011 Community Service Award.
Brandon chairs the Southwest Seattle Design Review Board and is an elected board member of the West Seattle Junction Association. He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Admiral Neighborhood Association.
AIA, LEED AP
Shanna is a founding principal of Nicholson Kovalchick Architects. Her diverse educational background includes a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Washington, and Civil and Structural Engineering degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Development from the University of Washington. Shanna and her husband Brandon are also currently pursuing several of their own development projects.
AIA, LEED AP
Boyd Pickrell has been with NK since 2007 and has more than 15 years of professional experience in architecture and real estate development. His experience as both an architect and a client gives him unique insight into the interests and concerns of NK’s clients. As the principal, he manages the operations of and sets the strategic direction for the Seattle office. At the project level, Boyd focuses on the firm’s relationship with the client and works with project teams to ensure that every project is delivered in a smart, efficient manner and results in a successful outcome for NK’s clients.
Boyd earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the Urban Land Institute.
Outside the office, Boyd is an avid cyclist and active member of the Cascade Bicycle Club. He is a proud parent and has volunteered for Central Seattle Parent Resource. He co-founded and served as the lead organizer for the Hillman City Neighborhood Alliance, and served as the chair of the Southeast District Council, a citizen advisory group.
Jin Lee has over 20 years of experience in multi-family and office development projects, successfully leading each from concept to occupancy, with a focus on quality control and design direction. He is a specialist in urban infill sites and developing solutions to steep slope and brownfield parcels. Jin consistently achieves owner objectives while meeting public agency requirements.
Jin has previously worked at Weber Thompson and helped found the Seattle branch of Ankrom Moisan.
Lee is actively involved with his local PTA: specifically the John Muir Elementary Playground Committee which recently was awarded Parks Levy funds to implement renovations inclusive of 2-5 year-olds and allowing public use of the school playground after hours.
Lee also is involved in the public process for the proposed North Rainier Neighborhood Plan Update and Draft North Rainier Urban Design Framework primarily through the Zoning, Land Use, Planning and Transportation Committee of the Mt. Baker Community Club.
AIA, LEED AP
Tom Steidl is a recent California transplant that brings fresh insight and a breadth of experience to NK. As a managing associate, Tom is responsible for the firm’s financial tracking and long term planning. He specializes in multifamily, adaptive reuse, code advocacy, commercial office, and high-end single-family homes.
Tom has previous experience as a project manager for several high-rise multifamily residential buildings in Los Angeles. He was also recognized as one of the most important individuals under 35 reshaping Downtown Los Angeles through a Downtown News Award.
Tom is an avid traveler and has extensive volunteer experience, including a 13-month volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity in Fiji, and as a trustee for the Bringing Back Broadway Initiative, which seeks to renew a Nationally Registered Historic District in downtown Los Angeles.
Jill Burdeen has 12 years of professional practice experience, encompassing all facets of residential architecture. She has taken numerous single family, townhome and multifamily projects from inception through construction. Jill’s designs artfully reflect both the client and company vision.
Jill has volunteered for several years with Seattle non-profit Seattle Works as well as Architects Without. She is currently volunteering at Marra Farms and Food Lifeline on weekends.
Joseph (Joe) Giampietro
Joe joined NK in 2012 with more than 30 years of experience in real estate development, land use planning, and architecture. In his role, Joe oversees all projects during the production of construction documents and throughout the construction phase, helping project managers provide high-quality design services to NK’s clients. He has a passion for designing high-performance, low-energy buildings.
Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Catholic University of America and dual master’s degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Certified Passive House Consultant.
Joe is a founding member of Passive House NW and an active member of the Sunset Hill Community Association and the Seattle chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. Aside from his professional interests, he enjoys sailing small sailboats, playing basketball, and woodworking.
MAIBC, LEED AP BD+C
Marie joined NK in 2011 and, with more than 13 years of architecture, design, and project management experience in seven countries, she offers a unique global perspective and a breadth of expertise. She currently focuses on managing mid-size apartment projects and designing energy-efficient single-family homes. She also oversees and coordinates the firm’s marketing activities.
Marie earned a professional degree in architecture and a degree in environmental studies from the University of Waterloo. She also obtained a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate from the University of Washington.
Before moving to Seattle, Marie spent two years working as an architect in West Africa where she designed clinics and schools for international donor agencies. She has a keen interest in writing and is a member of the Richard Hugo House and the Canada-America Society. Her other hobbies include exploring foreign cities and botanical painting.
AIA, LEED AP
Steve Fischer has 20 years of architecture and design experience in California and Washington. He specializes in feasibility studies and conceptual design and is skilled at graphic presentation and renderings. Steve’s focus is on multifamily buildings, senior housing and commercial retail projects.
David brings 16 years of experience to NK with a particular interest and expertise in the documentation, preservation and reuse of historic buildings. He has been involved with more than 20 properties nominated for landmark status in Seattle, and prepared detailed nomination reports for the Landmarks Preservation Board on projects such as the Pacific Science Center and The Kenney in West Seattle. His clear understanding of the designation criteria and process as well as his objective and thorough analyses have been an invaluable resource to NK’s clients and his colleagues within the firm. Before focusing on historic consulting he spent years working as a project architect and project manager on multifamily and resort buildings.
David graduated from the University of Washington with a master’s degree in architecture and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation.
In addition to his work at NK, David is an active member of the Society of Architectural Historians, Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO), and Historic Seattle.
Marie joined NK in 2008 as an administrative assistant before assuming the role of office manager in 2010. In 2012, she transitioned into a design role within NK and now works as an intern architect. She provides critical support to project managers and project architects on a variety of tasks, including Revit drafting, conducting historical research, and preparing feasibility studies.
Marie obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Washington. In her free time, she volunteers as the director of operations for Rhapsody Winterguard, a nonprofit youth performing arts organization in the Pacific Northwest.
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Courtney joined NK in 2008 and has nine years of architectural experience in several US cities. His interests in sustainability, urban design, and development led him to Seattle, and he has since served as the project architect on numerous projects for NK. Of particular note is the seven-story, 145-unit ArtHouse condominium project in the Belltown neighborhood.
Courtney has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.
Courtney has extensive volunteer experience with various low-income housing and green-building organizations. His other interests include graphic and web design.
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
John joined NK in 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience in architecture, design, and construction. His vast knowledge of green building, renewable energy sources, and sustainability make him a key resource for both clients and his colleagues within the firm.
John graduated from the University of Washington with undergraduate degrees in architectural studies and construction management, and he earned a master’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He also obtained his NCARB, Sustainable Building Advisor, and Clean Energy Technology certifications.
Before he pursued a career in architecture, John served in the US Army Reserve and National Guard for nine years. While living in Kitsap County, he ran for a seat on the Bremerton City Council, served on the board of SCALLOPS, and chaired both Sustainable Bremerton and the Bremerton Design Review Board. He currently volunteers on the Site Council at TOPS at Seward, which is the school’s main governing body.
LEED AP BD+C
Lauren joined NK in early 2011 with seven years of experience in institutional, single- and multi-family architecture. She is passionate about the sustainability and social justice aspects of design, and has served as the project architect for design on a range of projects, including one of Seattle’s first passive house residences and a 70-unit apartment building in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Lauren earned an undergraduate degree in art history from Occidental College and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington. She also studied architecture at the graduate level at the University of Texas at Austin.
Aside from architecture and design, Lauren’s interests include photography and stop-motion animation.
LEED AP BD+C
Chris joined NK in the spring of 2012 and brings 14 years of experience in designing multi-family, office, and civic buildings in the US and China. He was involved in the design of Redmond City Hall, the Tacoma Convention Center, and the Fujian Provincial Electric and Power Company, among others. He also participated in the master planning for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
In addition to having his LEED AP BD+C credential, Chris’ areas of interest include code compliance, accessibility standards, and continuous process improvement.
Chris is also a certified ski instructor and volunteers with the Humane Society to provide foster care for stray animals.
AIA, LEED AP
Alyssa joined NK Architects in 2008 and has 8 years of experience in architectural design and project management. She has a particular interest in the intersection between sustainability and affordable housing development. She has played a key role on a number of projects while at NK and currently leads the firm’s sustainability efforts.
Alyssa graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and holds AIA, NCARB, and LEED AP BD+C credentials. She is currently pursuing an MBA in sustainable business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
In addition to her professional interests, Alyssa is a member of the United Way’s “Out of the Rain” Impact Council, which has a mission to end chronic homelessness, and she is a member of the AIA Practice and Ethics Committee. She is also an avid skier, hiker, cyclist, and runner who enjoys travel and the outdoors.
Sarah joined NK in 2012 as a project architect to assist in the firm’s transition to Revit software, and has also had a design role in a number of NK’s projects. She is a LEED Green Associate with an interest in sustainability – passive house design and the Green Globes assessment and rating system, specifically – and is working toward her LEED AP BD+C credential. Sarah graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor of science in architectural studies. Among her other pursuits, Sarah’s interests include design, photography, and refurbishing furniture.
Phoebe joined the NK team in 2011 as the firm’s office manager. With more than ten years of administrative experience, she supports NK’s principals, project managers, and design staff by overseeing operational details such as daily bookkeeping, invoicing, and timekeeping. She also provides information technology support and manages the firm’s human resources activities.
Phoebe earned a bachelor’s of arts degree from Smith College and a certificate in business administration and management from the University of Washington.
Outside of work, Phoebe’s passion for youth drives her involvement in several nonprofit organizations, including Seattle Works and the Becoming Parents Program. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management
LEED AP BD+C
Chie joined NK in 2012, with eight years of experience in architecture and design in both Boston and Tokyo. Most of her experience is in medium- and large-scale projects, including student housing, performing arts venues, hangars, and mixed-use projects. Her primary interests involve using new systems and materials to promote energy efficiency and sustainability in the design of residential, commercial, and civic buildings.
Chie graduated from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design with a master’s degree in architecture, and she also earned a Master of Arts with Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Chie speaks four languages fluently, including Indonesian, Japanese, and Portuguese. She also enjoys designing websites.
Christy joined NK in 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience in architectural design. Her areas of interest include historic preservation, aging-in-place design, and sustainability. At NK, her focus is on multifamily and single-family design.
Christy graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and a minor in fine art. She is a Certified Professional Building Designer and has a certificate in Energy Accounting and Benchmarking.
Outside of work, Christy is a past president and current member of the board of directors for the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) Washington Society, and she volunteers weekly at the Bread of Life Mission. Her hobbies include drawing and painting, running marathons, and refereeing soccer.
Gary joined NK in 2012 with 27 years of experience in architecture. He focuses on mixed-use projects and his interests include historic renovation and adaptive reuse. One of the highlights of his career thus far was his involvement in the renovation of Johnson Hall, a 1930s collegiate gothic building on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus.
Gary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas A&M University and, while earning his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington, he studied in Italy for six months where he developed an understanding of the importance of historic preservation.
He has served on the City of Seattle Design Review Board and the Columbia City Landmark District Review Committee for many years, and volunteered on the steering committee of the Southeast Seattle Good Neighbor Fund. He has a deep appreciation for nature and a strong commitment to protecting the natural environment.
AIA, LEED AP
Rachel joined NK in 2012 with seven years of experience in architecture. Her areas of interest include sustainability, energy efficiency, and urban agriculture. Her primary focus at NK is the design of multifamily housing.
Rachel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon at Portland.
Outside of work, Rachel has volunteered for Architects without Borders and Architecture for Humanity. She was also a volunteer on the construction team for the first rooftop P-Patch community garden in Seattle, and she now enjoys gardening there in a plot of her own.
Christine joined NK in 2013 with five years of professional experience in architecture. An area of great interest to her is sustainability in multifamily housing.
Christine attended the University of Kansas where she received her master’s degree in architecture.
When not in the office, Christine enjoys reading, drawing, and painting.
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Shaney brings eight years of experience in architecture, design, and construction to NK. Since joining the firm in 2012, he has focused on producing construction documents for large multifamily projects and assisting with the transition to BIM software. In his youth, Shaney was involved in his family’s business of developing and building single-family homes in Oregon, which led him to pursue his career in architecture.
Shaney earned undergraduate degrees in architectural studies and construction management from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in architecture from McGill University in Montreal. He is NCARB certified and is completing a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate at the University of Washington.
Outside the office, Shaney is an avid traveler and enjoys planning and completing home improvement projects on his house.
Staff Architect / Graphics Specialist
Katie joined NK in 2013 after completing three architectural internships. In addition to drafting and refining project documents, Katie develops a variety of graphic materials for the firm’s use. Her interests include historic preservation, three-dimensional rendering, and sustainability.
Katie graduated from Washington State University with a master’s degree in architecture and bachelor’s degrees in architectural studies and fine arts.
Outside the office, she enjoys digital photography, film, travel, and playing the piano. She also volunteers at Seattle’s Bread of Life Mission.
In her role at NK, Crisanna provides administrative support to the principals, project managers and staff architects, and is also the first person that many visitors and callers interact with. She brings five years of professional experience to the firm.
Crisanna graduated from Seattle Pacific University with an undergraduate degree in interior design and a minor in studio arts. She is an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is a LEED Green Associate.
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time at the gym and running marathons. She also volunteers weekly at the Bread of Life Mission.
Chris joined the NK team in 2013, bringing 13 years of experience in architecture, primarily in designing custom single-family homes.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Arkansas and, while enrolled there, participated in the urban design program at the university’s campus in Rome, Italy.
Chris is a member of the Greater Seattle Business Association, and has an affinity for midcentury design and organic architecture.
Pittsburgh Office Lead
Loren returned to NK in 2013 to manage the firm’s office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after working in the Seattle office from 2005 to 2007. He brings 16 years of experience in architecture to the role. His interests include urban multifamily housing, building codes, accessibility, and energy efficiency.
Loren graduated with a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College.
Aside from his work, Loren enjoys spending time with his daughter. His design influences are drawn from the many apartments he has occupied over the years in cities such as Boston, Mexico City, and Seattle.