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Sep 07, 2022

Diana Nicklaus AIA

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President & CEO, saam architecture


B.A. in Art History with a Minor in Urban Studies (Tufts University); Master of Architecture (University of Texas at Austin)

Professional interests:

Public projects, Firm Management & Culture

When did you first become interested in architecture as a possible career?

My mother was driving me to high school one day and told me I should be an architect.

If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, what would it be?

Your network is critical!

Who do you think is the most underappreciated architect and why?

The one drawing the restrooms. Why? Restrooms are important, and people always take note of the design!

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?

Many places, but firm ownership was the most unexpected.

What has been your most proud moment as an architect/designer?

Being a team member on two projects that won the Harleston Parker Award, the Wellington Elementary School and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Addition & Renovation.

What does equity mean to you?

Providing equal opportunities for all.

What are some changes that you have implemented in your firm (or for yourself) to address issues of equity in your profession?

We actively encourage our entire team to embrace our “radical flexibility” policy so they can work whenever and from wherever they choose, as long as clients are happy.

What do you see as the largest barrier to a zero-waste building, city, and world?

Lack of education.

Who do you most enjoy partnering with on a project?

Public clients.

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Saam is responsible for the revitalization of 645 Summer Street on the Reserved Channel of the Boston waterfront. The building underwent a complete envelope renewal and a core-and-shell upgrade with smart amenities, waterfront views, and a harborside pedestrian promenade along the Reserved Channel.

Which architectural buzzword would you kill?


What was your least favorite college class?

British and Iberian Baroque Architecture – it started at 7:45 am.

If you could redesign anything, what would it be?

My house.

Whom would you like the BSA to interview next?

Diana Ostberg.

If you could sum up your outlook on life in a bumper sticker, what would it say?

“One Day at a Time.”