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.

Rachel Bedet

BMath, MLA, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Rachel Bedet

BMath, MLA, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Rachel’s professional interests include placed-based research, the walkability of built environments, and connecting people to the landscapes they inhabit. Rachel worked as a software developer before deciding to change professions and study landscape architecture. With an undergraduate degree in mathematics, Rachel is a data driven designer who is eager to collect location specific information through GIS mapping, first hand observation and the gathering of knowledge from locals.

Yiqi Yang

BEng, MLArch
Designer

Yiqi Yang

BEng, MLArch
Designer

Yiqi discovered that design is often inspired by nature during her undergraduate schooling in interior, product and graphic design. This realization led her to pursue landscape architecture in her graduate studies. With a focus on ecology and an interest in designing with nature, Yiqi’s master’s thesis explored the ecology of weeds in the urban environment. Yiqi’s excellent eye for design, exceptional hand graphics, understanding of multiple design disciplines, and strong technical skills make her an asset to the team at BENCH.

Work With Us

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

Although we do not currently have any positions available, we’re always interested in hearing from creative, motivated professionals. If you’d like to be considered for future openings, please send a PDF of your resume and portfolio (maximum 15MB size) to studio@benchsitedesign.com

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