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.

Lesley StGodard
Lesley Harty

MBCSLA, CSLA
Landscape Architect

Lesley StGodard

Lesley Harty

MBCSLA, CSLA
Landscape Architect

Lesley Harty 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.

Yiqi Yang

BEng, MLArch, BCSLA Intern
Designer

Yiqi Yang

BEng, MLArch, BCSLA Intern
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.

We are not currently looking to add any new team members, however, if you feel you would be a good fit please send us an email to studio@benchsitedesign.com and let us know why.

 

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