Nick Koulbanis


Principal | Higher Education Studio Leader


  • Nick re-joined SMMA in August 2017 as a key member of SMMA’s Higher Education studio, bringing with him a diverse portfolio of institutional work for clients including Johnson & Wales University, Endicott College, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island
  • Nick applies a keen attention to detail and unique sense of spatial awareness to his designs, making him a valuable asset to the architecture team
  • Draws inspiration for his own work from SMMA’s diverse portfolio of past projects and from his global travels
  • Collaborates with multiple studio heads and outside clients on projects in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • As a Jack of all trades, specializes in a variety of digital design programs such as SketchUp, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign

Finding Inspiration

When Nick was growing up, he was inspired by his uncle, a New York City architect. Nick fondly remembers trips to visit his uncle in the city, where he was able to experience the ornate architecture and immense size of the buildings around him. Witnessing how the structures and layout of the city affected everyday people was a driving force behind Nick’s determination to become an architect.

“Learning from my uncle helped me realize that I could combine my two favorite classes in school: art and math. I found it interesting that my designs would create lasting structures, and others would experience them for years to come. Seeing how you can affect people with architecture, and helping clients bring an idea to life is really exciting.”

A Passion for Adventure

“I find that risk can be rewarding,” Nick remarked when explaining his love for adventures like downhill skiing and travel.  “I’ve traveled to Japan and throughout Europe, experiencing different styles of architecture and different cultures. These experiences allowed me to meet people with diverse backgrounds from all over the world.”

“A trip studying abroad in Rome helped launch my interest in travel – it was truly rewarding to be engulfed in another culture. I want to keep traveling and share these experiences with my children; hopefully, we will make it to the Australian Outback and discover the unique animals that live there.”