PROJECT INQUIRY
INFO@nicholas-williams.com


ABOUT


SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO / LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA


NICHOLAS holds a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) and a minor in Construction Management from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California (Cal Poly SLO), the NUMBER ONE Architecture School in the nation. Nicholas also holds his Master of Architecture in Real Estate Development from Woodbury University in downtown San Diego, participating in the second year of the MarchRED Program with architect/developers Jonathan Segal, Ted Smith, Sebastian Mariscal, and Lloyd Russell.


NICHOLAS believes in a MINIMAL AND MODERN but RIGOROUSLY DETAILED architecture and uses his work to investigate the dimensions of FORM, LIGHT, MATERIALITY, TEXTURE, AND SPACE as influenced by the colors, landscapes, and geometry of the HIGH DESERT of New Mexico and the URBAN FABRIC of Los Angeles. He continues to develop and explore PREFABRICATION techniques in his current work and incorporates PASSIVE SOLAR heating, passive ventilation techniques, and uses SUSTAINABLE technologies in his projects. He specifies LOCAL CRAFTSMEN, MATERIALS, AND PRODUCTS whenever possible. Due to his extensive EXPERIENCE in construction and COST ESTIMATING, he can work within a client's BUDGET from conceptual design through build-out.



SERVICES

_Building Design
Design services for residential and commercial new construction and remodels;
incorporating sustainability; passive solar design; passive ventilation;
high R values; and thermal mass. With the desire to control the quality of construction
and the execution of architectural details, Nicholas is involved in each project from
initial conceptual design to final occupation.


_Building Permits
Permitting services include the creation of a full set of legally stamped construction documents. Nicholas can assist in attaining a Building Permit and can produce detailed Bid Documents and Specifications to assist in the contractor bidding and award process.


_Construction Management
Nicholas provides construction management services for all types of construction. He partners with local craftsmen and adept subcontractors who take pride in their work to produce the unique details that modern buildings require; always on budget and on schedule.


_Partnering with Land Developers
With a background in Land Development, including a Masters of Architecture in Real Estate Development (MarchRED), Nicholas can help home owners and new or existing real estate developers to realize their projects by creating detailed land development proFormas, feasibility studies, and construction cost estimates that can assist in attaining a construction loan. Nicholas also partners with Land Developers in certain situations.


_Consulting
Consulting services for clients who desire to contract and permit their own projects as owner/builder, including assessing plans created by other architects and designers; creating detailed line-item budgets; construction sequencing schedules; identifying appropriate contractors/suppliers; and assisting in construction inspections.


_Off-Grid systems, homes, and consulting
For clients who have a building site where utilities are not an option. Nicholas can design a sustainable active and passive solar home based on his experiences living in a straw bale house off of the grid outside of Taos, New Mexico.



LIVING OFF OF THE GRID

In 2012 I initiated a yearlong experiment to thrust myself into the lonely desert of Northern New Mexico. I found myself some breathtaking land on the edge of the national forest atop of an isolated extinct volcano on the Taos Plateau just west of the Rio Grande Gorge. The views went on for hundreds of miles from up there.

I lived off-grid, sustainably, self-sufficiently relying on nature to provide most of my needs during that year...through four seasons of wind, snow, rain, and brutal sun.

I remodeled an old one room STRAW BALE "shack"; an original structure that remained from the 1960's hippie commune that formed in the area after the summer of love; and constructed a shed roof wood framed bedroom wing on the east. I added reclaimed steel awning windows from a school gym to make the cabin passive solar. I installed many off grid systems including a small 250 watt solar panel array connected to a series of deep cycle 12volt batteries wired in parallel with charge controller and 2500 watt inverter to run a system of LED lighting throughout the 300 sq ft cabin. A 350 gal rainwater collection and storage system proved to be invaluable during the intense but short Northern New Mexico monsoon season. I hauled drinking water from a community well in the middle of the lonely desert 10 miles down a rutted dirt forest road. The well is fed by a deep system of volcanic tubes holding some of the purest water on the planet aligning the Rio Grande. I installed an on demand 12volt freshwater pump wired to a switch by the kitchen sink which pressurized the plumbing system through a 3 cycle rainwater filter system, then to a propane instant water heater to heat the filtered rainwater inside the cabin for bathing and dishwashing. I constructed a shower and bathtub out of an old 100 gallon steel stock tank; and restored a vintage Magic chef oven and connected it to propane for cooking. I wanted a space for guests, so I found a vintage 27 ft airstream trailer sitting unused in the red rock desert of Moab, Utah and remodeled it, adding solar electric and a wood burning stove to serve as my office and a guest bedroom; and parked it adjoining the cabin's deck.

I cooked and made tortillas on a wood stove many nights during the winter. None of the distractions of modern society were present out there. I lived, I thrived, I suffered, I existed. It was quite an experience and has made me appreciate many of the little things in life that we take fore-granted: constant Electricity, fresh drinking water on demand, thermostats that control our home's temperature 24 hours a day, running toilets. It has also inspired me to design and build more tiny house projects off of the grid and of smaller carbon footprint on the planet. It was marvelous how easy it was to exist once the systems were completed. It was a normal house, small, with no utility bills. I was free.

So often, in rural areas of New Mexico especially, I am limited to building sites that have power, water, septic, natural gas. These restrictions can be a burden when there is a beautiful site for a home, but the utilities are not present, or are too expensive to bring in. This was truly a freeing experience to know that I can manifest a home for myself or a client in the far reaches of society. Where nothing is heard or seen for miles, with all of the comforts of a modern home....and no energy bills.