Our Studio

Ours is a convivial and collaborative studio environment.

We believe that our projects are made better when they are evaluated from multiple perspectives, and that each member of our team has something valuable to contribute to every project. As such, we’ve grown an office of individuals with diverse but complementary skills and experience.

Keith Nyhof

MBCSLA, CSLA
Principal

Keith Nyhof

Keith Nyhof

MBCSLA, CSLA
Principal

Keith Nyhof grew up in southern Alberta watching his father’s nursery and landscape contracting company bring landscapes to life. He often joined his father at the office, drawing landscapes and using the photocopier to make youthful creations. Evidently these were formative experiences, as Keith went on to study landscape architecture at the University of Guelph as an adult, obtaining his professional designation in BC in 2007, and co-founding BENCH in 2012.

Since 2004, Keith has been involved in the design and implementation of public and private projects throughout BC, Alberta and Ontario. He has extensive field experience, specializing in MMCD project contract administration, and has managed high-profile projects throughout the Okanagan, including the Kelowna Police Services Building, Enderby’s Cliff Avenue Streetscape Revitalization, and the Giant’s Head Trails Re-Development Plan in Summerland.

Keith spends his free time with his young family, and at every opportunity participates in the activities that the Okanagan Valley is famous for.

Xenia Semeniuk
Xenia Semeniuk

MBCSLA, CSLA, LEED AP
Principal

Xenia Semeniuk

Xenia Semeniuk

MBCSLA, CSLA, LEED AP
Principal

Xenia Semeniuk has been involved in the design of landscape architectural projects in the Okanagan and Vancouver since 2007, and co-founded BENCH in 2012. After completing an undergraduate degree in environmental politics and policy, Xenia worked for an environmental law organization and a sustainable transportation NGO before returning to study landscape architecture at UBC, drawn to the idea of the physical manifestation of policy through design. Her professional interests lie particularly in the field of green infrastructure and regenerative design, and she is a past co-chair of the Thompson-Okanagan branch of the Cascadia Green Building Council.

Xenia has overseen the landscape architectural scope of projects throughout the Interior of British Columbia, recently including the Okanagan College Vernon Trades Training Facility and Bus Loop, the UBCO Transit Exchange, Phantom Creek Estates Winery in Oliver, and the City of Kelowna’s Ellis Street Design Guidelines. If she’s not in the office, Xenia is likely to be found on skis, on a bike, or at the farmers’ market.

Ann Jackson
Ann Jackson

BA, MLA
Senior Designer

Ann Jackson

Ann Jackson

BA, MLA
Senior Designer

Ann Jackson has practiced landscape design in Vancouver and the Okanagan since 2006 in both private and regional government settings. Following undergraduate studies in geography and fine art, Ann completed her Master of Landscape Architecture degree at UBC. She is inspired by a range of natural and constructed landscapes, and is influenced by both her childhood on an Okanagan orchard and her travels in North and South America. Her professional interests include sustainable infrastructure, public space, ecological restoration, and agricultural landscapes. She has extensive experience in bringing projects from conceptual design through construction documentation and contract administration.

Ann’s recent work includes the Grouse Grind Trail Closure Systems Study, as well as the RDCO Regional Parks Design Guidelines, a comprehensive document for planners, consultants and contractors planning and constructing new and retrofit projects within RDCO parks. She was also the design lead for the City of Enderby Cliff Avenue Streetscape Revitalization, the construction of which was completed in 2017. Since 2013, Ann has owned and operated Happy Valley Organics, an organic peach orchard in Summerland, BC.

Lesley StGodard
Lesley St Godard

BEnvD, MLArch, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Lesley StGodard

Lesley St Godard

BEnvD, MLArch, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Lesley St Godard completed both a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Manitoba before moving to the Okanagan Valley to join BENCH in 2017. She has a keen interest in arboriculture, having worked for Trees Winnipeg (formerly Coalition to Save The Elms) during her studies at U of M and, in September 2017, Lesley became a Manitoba Certified Arborist.

Since arriving at BENCH, Lesley has played an important supporting role on a variety of projects, including the Okanagan College Vernon Trades Training Facility and Bus Loop, Burnt Timber Winery, Bellevue Creek Linear Park, and numerous multi-family residential developments. A retired varsity hockey player, Lesley has traded her skates for a curling brush and soccer cleats since moving to the Okanagan, and now spends most weekends exploring the hiking trails of her new home.

Erika Bullock
Erika Bullock

BComm, MLA, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Erika Bullock

Erika Bullock

BComm, MLA, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Erika Bullock earned a degree in accounting before changing course and deciding to study landscape architecture. She completed her Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Guelph and moved to Kelowna shortly thereafter. As a student, Erika used her bike to get around, and noticed a distinct lack of bikeability over the winter months in all of the cities she lived in. For her Master’s thesis, she researched and developed eight winter bikeability criteria to help improve bicycle network design and increase winter cycling rates. Erika traveled to four case study cities known for their cycling infrastructure and high winter cycling rates – Minneapolis, Montreal, Copenhagen, and Oulu – to observe the best practices used in each city.

Since joining BENCH in August 2017, Erika has been able to apply her winter cycling network expertise to the City of Kelowna’s Ethel Street Active Transportation Corridor, and has also been involved in several park and trails master planning projects, including the Revelstoke Mountain Bike Trail Plan for Recreation Sites and Trails BC, and the a community signage and trails master plan for the Lakestone development, located in Lake Country.

Work With Us

Our intention is to cultivate an office of curious, conscientious and personable individuals with diverse skills, interests and life experiences.

BENCH is hiring for a junior landscape designer position. If you’d like to be considered for this opening, please send a resume and portfolio to studio@benchsitedesign.com (maximum attachment size of 15MB) prior to Friday, March 8, along with a cover letter telling us about yourself and why you are interested in the position.

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