This month meet Nicole Nathan, partner at the architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe and a visionary architect fixed in the Denver skyline. We met with Nicole at Moxy Denver Cherry Creek, which happens to be one of the many project sites completed by the firm that grace these streets. Add to the list: The Maven Hotel, The Ramble Hotel, Halcyon Hotel, The Crawford Hotel — all icons in architectural form — and it’s all thanks to Nicole, her team and their design philosophy defined as pragmatic beauty.
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you realize you wanted to become an architect?
I was a freshman at CU Boulder. I was undeclared, but I knew I had an interest in art and strength in math. I was reading The Fountainhead and met someone in the Environmental Design (ENVD) program at Boulder. Studio sounded like fun. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!
Is there any architect who influenced your work?
There are many architects I admire, and many who influence my work. I will say I am constantly awed by the classic modernism of Mies Van der Rohe and the inspiring work of Eero Saarinen.
Outside of architecture, where/how do you tap into your creativity?
Making a beautiful meal, drawing a quick sketch, making things for my family.
What are the challenges architecture has to cope with today?
Some of the biggest challenges lie in creating work that lives up to the vision we have at the outset. In the battle against rising costs, we have to be more vigilant than ever that the decisions made along the way don’t compromise quality or the design intent. As architects, we have the responsibility to continually invent creative approaches to our work that allow it to be realized.