Nicholas Elster

Nicholas Elster

Berkeley, CA, US


PDF Portfolio


I have 7+ years of professional experience in the field of residential architecture.

My experience as Project Manager has emphasized the importance of an interactive approach, allowing me to collaborate with other members of a design team, and to work closely with consultants and contractors.  The service-oriented nature of the profession has helped me to develop excellent verbal, written and visual communication skills for use with clients, and a wealth of technical knowledge and firsthand exposure with regards to construction and the building industry helps ensure productive relationships with other professionals.

Years of focussed work have helped me develop an acute set of skills relevant to single family residential architecture, yet applicable to problem solving in a larger context as well.  I'm looking for the opportunity to diversify my work experience to include other building types, especially socially oriented projects with community engaged processes and wider impact.  At the same time, I'm committed to retaining and expanding my practice of collaborative methods, sustainable solutions, and a high level of craft.

I am currently pursuing licensure as an architect in the state of California.  To this end, I have finished NCARB's Intern Development Program (IDP).  I have successfully completed 6 out of the 7 divisions of the Architect Registration Examination, with hopes to pass the remaining division and schedule the California Supplemental Exam before the end of this year.

Professional Specialties:

  • Site documentation & development of existing conditions drawings
  • Work with clients to establish programmatic requirements, budget & timeline
  • Create schematic designs receptive to program, site & zoning restrictions
  • Consult with clients throughout bidding process & contract negotiations
  • Development of architectural drawing sets for all phases of design:
  • Collaboration with consultants, clients & contractors to coordinate designs.
  • Participate in construction administration as architect's representative
  • Excellent graphic, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Physical scaled models in various materials including wood, paperboard, plastics, etc.
  • Knowledge of California Building, Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Codes.
  • Knowledge of local zoning and building code in numerous Bay Area municipalities
  • Knowledge of best practices for sustainable design and construction

Technical Skills:

  • Proficiency in Revit Architecture (Autodesk)
  • Proficiency in Vectorworks (Nemetschek)
  • Competency in AutoCAD (Autodesk)
  • Competency in SketchUp (Trimble)
  • Proficiency in Photoshop (Adobe)
  • Proficiency in Illustrator (Adobe)
  • Proficiency in Excel (Microsoft)

I have managed a number of independent and self-directed design projects including the new construction of an accessory dwelling unit and a residential remodel.  These projects were completed independently, as the sole design professional responsible for architectural duties:

Completed 2007    Wizig Alterations - Residential addition and renovation            Richmond, CA
Completed 2012    Rudnick Alterations - Master bedroom/bathroom renovation   Princeton, NJ
Completed 2013    DeFlaun Casita - Guest house, new construction                       Petaluma, CA


Self Employed - Freelance, Miami, FL, US, Architectural Designer

Jul 2012 - Jul 2013

Gary Earl Parsons, AIA, Berkeley, CA, US, Project Manager & Architectural Designer

Gary Earl Parsons, Architect (GEP) is a full service architectural firm with special emphasis on residential design. This award winning firm produces site-specific designs that are responsive to clients desires and informed by sustainable practices and Bay Area architectural traditions.

Project Manager responsibilities include:
• Client contact for all project phases including: programming, design & construction
• Zoning, planning and building code research
• Existing conditions documentation
• Schematic architectural design and site planning
• Design development and interior design
• Architectural construction documents: primarily Type III and Type V construction
• Written specifications for materials & methods
• Construction administration
• Structural drafting and detail development
Note: The firm works collaboratively with Komendant Engineering to produce structural designs. GEP project manager, under the guidance of Komendant Engineer, performs all structural drafting for construction documents and helps develop the structural layout and detailing in coordination with the architectural design.

Jul 2006 - Jul 2012


Miami University, Oxford, OH, US, BArch, Architecture

Aug 2001 - Jun 2006

Areas of Specialization 


Please wait... loading