Founder of NELSON, Principal of Design
John Nelson, Sr. founded NELSON in 1977. In the firm’s first 20 years, as President and Design Director, NELSON became nationally ranked, and he would go on to win and design a string of high profile projects including the award winning renovation of the landmark Beaux Arts building which is now Wells Fargo at Broad and Walnut in Philadelphia, Sun Oil Headquarters Building in Philadelphia, the previous world headquarters of CIGNA insurance and SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo Smithkline) in Philadelphia, well over 2 million square feet for EAB (now CitiBank) throughout Manhattan and Long Island, and numerous prominent projects for Bank of America nationally including the award winning landmark 720 15th Street Building in Washington D.C. In the years following, with his encouragement and support, the firm expanded significantly as he continued to serve as Chairman and Principal of Design.
Mr. Nelson’s body of award winning work is uniquely diverse. The breadth of his experience spans all types of projects, including corporate and executive offices, call centers, trading rooms, conference centers, educational facilities, hospitals, restaurants, retail space, branch banks, and showrooms. His achievements also include a strong portfolio in product design for manufacturers in the commercial industry. Most recently his design of the Prima Collection for TUOHY was selected for an Interior Design Magazine Best of the Year award.
Today, as Founder and Principal of Design, he is a valued advisor in building global recognition for NELSON’s creative solutions and innovation. He is a respected and admired source for keen design insights and industry perspectives for the firm’s most seasoned designers, most junior designers, and all levels in between.
Mr. Nelson continues to be active in industry conferences and seminar panels nationally. He is a guest lecturer and critic at the college level and participates as a juror in numerous national design competitions. He is also active in various civic and community groups.