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Nicole Cieri

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Nicole Cieri graduated with honours in Architecture at “La Sapienza” University in Rome in 1999.

She started working for De Studio S.r.l., where she gained experience in the field of conservation and restoration of historic public buildings, mastering the practical and ethical challenges of heritage protection. She also expanded her design skills participating in many international design competitions.

From 2002, Nicole moved to Addis Ababa and she started working as a Technical Director for Elmi Olindo & Co. Plc. She completed a significant number of architectural projects in Ethiopia and South Africa, where she had the opportunity to work closely with local authorities and contractors. This allowed her to develop a unique combination of pragmatism and cultural sensitivity that allowed her to grow professionally and work with local clients, from both public and private sectors, such as Ethiopian Airlines, Coca-Cola and Heineken.

In 2017 she moved back to Rome and became a partner at Westway Architects; she has been Chief Architect in numerous projects, including the recently completed Castel Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Since September 2019, Nicole has decided to take a different path and open her own architectural firm, Nicole Cieri Architects – NCA, which is currently developing several major design projects between Italy and Ethiopia.


NCA’s design philosophy is based on the principle that the architect is not a creator deity, but a worker who puts his skills at the service of the community and the environment. Nonetheless, the architect has a great responsibility that must be handled with caution and humility: in fact, to build means to transform the environment forever.

A fundamental theme in our design is to acknowledge that architecture is the expression of the time we live in. Our effort is to consider architecture both in space and time, to meet human needs that might change over time.

NCA’s philosophy is built upon listening, attention to detail and empathy.

Our projects always begin with thorough research of the context and users, which allows us to establish a connection with people and the environment, to understand the vocation of the place and the practical and cultural needs of the customer.

Balance, functionality, harmonic proportions and the expressive power of light are the elements that we believe give quality to architecture, while we try to avoid stylistic games and forced aestheticisms.  We aim to offer a project in which the client can recognize himself, that is capable to arouse emotions, stimulate curiosity and convey a different vision of the world.

We believe that, along the path to good architecture, the builder is the architect’s greatest ally. Establishing a mutual collaboration is an important step forward in achieving the desired outcome.

"The contractor for the architect is a brother-in-arms."

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