nicholas proia cecchi architecture

Creating exceptional spaces with unparalleled attention to detailing, materials and execution.


Nicholas is an architect born and raised in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains West of Denver, Colorado. He was educated in New Orleans, attaining Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Architecture from Tulane University. Following this, he worked in single-family residential architecture before leading the design department of a Denver-based boutique design and fabrication studio for three years. This time provided invaluable experience in advanced fabrication techniques, material properties, and collaboration with skilled fabricators. The experience built upon formative experiences working summers on job sites through high school and university as the son of a journeyman carpenter. 

In 2014, Nicholas moved to Chicago to apply his skills to projects in multifamily residential, mixed-use commercial,  and educational architecture. Following nearly a decade of successful practice in Chicago, he left the city in 2022  for a sabbatical period of sustainable travel, language learning, and self-study of the architectural and craft traditions of diverse cultures and environments.

Nicholas is a published architecture writer, having contributed to leading publications on topics of urbanism, planning, and architectural criticism. He frequently serves on academic reviews and as a guest lecturer at various institutions. He has taught Design Communication and served as a co-instructor for undergraduate and graduate level Design Studios at Illinois Institute of Technology. 




Nicholas possesses expertise at a range of design scales and project types.  He is a licensed architect in the state of Illinois and holds an NCARB certificate.

Services offered include the following:

Exhibitions & Awards

Nicholas Cecchi's work has been exhibited at galleries in Denver, Chicago, and online. 

His product designs, Luminaire le Roc and Vase le Roc, as well as Triangulated Depths, a quilt designed in collaboration with his partner, Emily Handley, were featured in Functional Objects by Architects, a partner program of the 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennial.

His projects have received numerous awards, including AIA Honor Awards at local, state, and national levels, as well as industry and material-specific awards for exceptional use of concrete and timber.


Nicholas has worked both independently and with renowned architecture firms and artists on a range and scale of architectural, planning, and design project types. 

This experience, as well as independent pursuits, provides a depth and breadth of design and technical excellence that is simply impossible to acquire working solely on smaller residential and retail projects.  From junior levels through his years as a Project Architect and Project Leader at firms such as Gensler and Studio Gang, he has realized exceptional spaces across  residential, commercial, and institutional and educational projects.  

Nicholas also posses a large portfolio of unique designed objects from his work in product design, furniture and lighting.




Minimal FABRICations

Vaulted Willow // With THEVERYMANY and Demiurge LLC

Hypar Tie Clip

Void Jewelry Box

Luminaire Diamante

Coral Chair

Seating // With TuSA

Hypar Necklace

Luminaire Biologique

Downhill Race Skateboard

Generative Quilt // With Emily Handley

Milled Security Gate // With LJC

Vase Le Roc

PZZL Trivet

Table le Roc

Table le Roc en serie

Untitled // With Joe Riche

Haiku Architecture

Regional Design Award // With Gensler

Luminaire le Roc

Bike Rack // With TuSA

Lunch Lines // With TuSA

Writing & Lectures

Nicholas is a widely published architecture writer. He has contributed to various leading publications including Architect's Newspaper, Archinect, and Chicago Architect. From 2016-2020, he wrote a regular column of architectural criticism for Chicago-based independent newspaper New City. 

He has prepared and presented lectures on academic topics, architectural practice, writing as a creative practice for architects, mass timber, and complex architectural geometry to varied audiences, including the American Institute of Architecture Students, design studios at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and industry trade groups.

He has been a frequent guest on colleague Keefer Dunn's long-running architecture radio show, Buildings On Air, and has also spoken on air for the Wayne Beson show with Chicago Progressive Talk Radio.


line drawn on paper

sketching is more than looking

now truly seeing