Ocean Home 50: Our Top Coastal Architects of 2015 Nicholaeff Architecture + Design




Photo credit: Michael Lee

Doreve Nicholaeff's innovative approach to residential design is consistently recognized and honored in both the media and the industry.

A native of South Africa, Nicholaeff studied architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She was awarded the South African Institute of Architects' Graduate Scholarship, to study for her Advanced Masters degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her knowledge of architecture, design, history and theory landed her at Gensler Associates in Los Angeles, where she honed her skills before settling back in New England, an area of the country she grew to love for its distinct characteristics and warm sense of community.

In the earlier years of her career, Nicholaeff was employed by Moshe Safdie & Associates, Inc., William Geddis & Associates, Inc., and Sasaki Associates.

She has contributed to the renovation of some of Boston's most significant historical buildings in downtown Boston and Back Bay, and is the author of The Planning and Development of Copley Square, an architectural study of one of Boston’s most prominent landmarks.

After seven years in commercial architecture, Nicholaeff sought greater creative ownership of her projects, thus transitioning to residential design by launching her own firm in 1986 – Nicholaeff Architecture + Design, headquartered in Osterville, Mass.

Now, 32 years later, Doreve's thriving practice employs five full-time professionals. The firm works primarily in New England, but also works on projects throughout the country and abroad.

Nicholaeff is a member of the American Institute of Architects, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Boston Society of Architects and Royal Institute of British Architects.

“We believe that a home is much more than a place where you live, it should be a reflection of how you live,” she says. “We invest a significant amount of time getting to know our clients because their lifestyle is the greatest influence on how we approach design.

“We analyze the context, the site, its characteristics – topography, geology, indigenous vegetation, wind direction, orientation, surrounding houses, borrowed view paths, and architectural vocabulary – with a distinct focus on technology and its impact on the overall project.

“We call upon our collective education and experience to make tangible the dreams of our clients to create a home that is truly theirs – singular and uncompromising.”

For more information, www.nicholaeff.com

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