Welcome To

When the doors of Smallwood Nickle Architects first opened in 2001, the firm was originally called InForm Smallwood+Nickle. This was partially due to the fact that our two principals, Brian Smallwood and Jim Nickle, were simply too modest to name the firm after themselves, and they truly wanted their staff to share in the accolades and attention their architectural design work would soon bring. More importantly, they believed that their most elegant and successful projects were those in which both architects and clients remained highly communicative, informed partners throughout the entire design and construction process, residential or commercial.

And they were right. On both counts.

Today, the firm’s portfolio includes some of the region’s most talked-about home, retail, restaurant and office spaces. Still, every project involves at least one of the firm’s principals in a direct design and oversight role, from initial consultation through completion of construction. And the combination of Brian Smallwood’s sophisticated, world-informed, user-friendly aesthetic, with Jim Nickle’s precise and innovative engineering expertise has turned this tandem into one of the most sought-after architectural design duos in the New South - and beyond. This is especially true for those who appreciate collaboration and the elegant thought, form and function of their work.

As more and more clients have requested direct access to the talents of Mr. Smallwood and Mr. Nickle, the intended anonymity of the firm’s original “InForm” name has at last changed to recognize the gentle, creative giants behind what makes our philosophy, our culture and the design and building process so special here.

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown

Aaron was born and raised in Hillsboro, Tennessee, and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2013. During his tenure at the University of Tennessee, Aaron was an active member of both the American Institute of Architects Students and Freedom By Design. Aaron was also passionately involved with the College of Architecture and Design’s Haiti Program, which provided construction documents for L’Exode Secondary School in Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, and preliminary designs for a residential development, sustainable housing, and an addition to an existing medical clinic in Fort Liberte, Haiti.

In his free time, Aaron volunteers for two local community organizations: the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department, and the Hillsboro Homecoming Association. When he is not participating in design or community activities, he enjoys spending time outdoors.

Education:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bachelor of Architecture 2013
Kyle McKiness

Kyle McKiness

Kyle grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1995. While at UT and early in his career, Kyle studied and practiced architecture in Krakow, Poland – an experience which still influences the way he appreciates and deploys elements of the old and new worlds in some of his work today.

Kyle has participated in a number of high-profile award-winning designs, including the TSU Performing Arts Center, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Adventure Science Center. In addition to his commercial work, Kyle gained extensive experience with housing, mixed-use facilities and neighborhood developments while working with a regional multi-family developer prior to Smallwood Nickle. And his multi-dimensional appreciation for the aesthetics and performance needs of these various building applications has given Kyle an extensive understanding of technical design and building specifications. This knowledge allows him to effectively coordinate and communicate design solutions for residential owners and contractors alike. When not at work, Kyle and his wife stay busy with five young children, including a set of triplets.

Education:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bachelors of Architecture 1995
Jim Nickle

Jim Nickle

Jim was raised in Huntsville Alabama but always had family ties to Nashville. After earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University in 1992 he lived and worked in Chicago loving and learning from one of the most architecturally significant cities in the country. Jim returned to Nashville on a permanent basis in 1994 and immediately put his talent to work. Jim quickly rose to a position of primary managing Architect on some of Nashville’s most prominent buildings.

When Jim and Brian founded their Architectural firm in 2001 it brought the opportunity for Jim to bring his collaborative working style, his ability to execute complex buildings, and his design chops front and center. This is a logical trajectory for a boy who grew up excelling in school with the kids of NASA engineers and the man who worked with the famed Architect Samuel (Sambo) Mockbee. Jim now practices Architecture at the most interesting intersection of innovative design and practical execution. His buildings go together in a logical manner and work day one and down the road. He is passionate about design but for him and his firm, design has to work and ‘keep the water out’ in an elegant way!

Jim has served on boards for The Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Mental Health Foundation, and helped pilot an educational program at the Country Music Foundation which introduced schools and students to the architectural expressions of country music found in the Museum. Jim continues to help develop young architects as part of his mentorship role in the office.

Jim has played an advisory role with Metro Davidson County and the Urban Design Studio, participating in the initial research and development of urban infill guidelines and traditional neighborhood developments around Nashville.

Professional Organizations:
American Institute of Architects - AIA
U.S. Green Building Council – Corporate Member
Brian Smallwood

Brian Smallwood

Born and raised in Newport Beach, California, Brian and his family have chosen to call Nashville, Tennessee home for the last 20 years. As such, Brian brings a unique bi-coastal design perspective, range and sensibility to all of the firm’s projects. From residential to commercial, and West Coast contemporary to the style and comfort of the New South.

Brian has a strong background in art, art history, theory, philosophy, and both technical and art photography – all of which informs and enhances the uncommon form and function of his architectural practice. He has also traveled extensively throughout the world, including a year in Switzerland working directly with famed European architect and educator Olivio Ferrari.

Brian received his BFA degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He currently serves as chairman of the Belle Meade Board of Zoning Appeals and serves on the Cheekwood Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Architectural Review Committee at the Thacher School (his alma mater) in Ojai California. Brian has recently joined the advisory board for the Legion Fund which raises funds to support members of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and their families when in need. In his spare time, Brian enjoys coaching local middle school lacrosse teams which he has done since 2001.

Brian is registered to practice Architecture in the following states: Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas and Ohio.

Professional Organizations:
American Institute of Architects - AIA
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards - NCARB
U.S. Green Building Council – Corporate Member
Shawn Henderson

Shawn Henderson

Raised in Lexington Kentucky, Shawn received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky in December, 1994. While still in school - and based on his talents in computer visualization - Shawn was selected for a coveted Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Chicago) summer internship program in architecture - a spot normally reserved for graduate students. Shawn’s collegiate work also earned him the “Jack Sherrer Memorial Prize for Sensitivity to Design and Materials” and ‘Top Design” for the University of Kentucky Library Student Design Competition. And Shawn’s final student project at UK earned him a 16-week charette at Haines, Lundberg and Waehler in New York, where he was part of the three-man team that designed the winning entry for the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce.

After graduation, Shawn continued to develop his considerable design strengths working for Gresham Smith & Partners in Nashville, working on projects like the “Cub World Cub Scout Camp” in Gallatin, Tennessee, the “Passaic River Protection Project” with the Army Corps of Engineers in Kearny, New Jersey, and Spec Office Prototypes for the Maryland Farms development in Brentwood, Tennessee. And he was selected as one of the founding members of the Aviation Studio, where he helped design large-scale airport projects in Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Richmond and Louisville.

Shawn’s uncanny ability to help clients visualize their projects three-dimensionally has been a big part of Smallwood Nickle’s growth and unique ability to more clearly communicate design ideas and intentions to our clients throughout the life of their project.

Education:
University of Kentucky
Bachelor of Architecture 1994

Meet The TEAM

Meet The
TEAM