About Thuja Architecture & Design

 

Client-driven, excellence focussed.

Who We Are

We are architects, designers and dreamers. Blueprints make us happy, and buildings excite us – their form, their function, their aesthetic, their feel. For over a decade, Thuja has been creating amazing structures, first as a design studio and since 2017 as a licensed full-service architectural firm. Our team thrives on collaborating (with each other and our clients) and strives to deliver projects efficiently, artistically and full of care from conceptualization to completion.

What We Do

At Thuja, we blend the art and science of architecture to create spaces that allow people to live, play and work optimally. We bring a methodical, engaged approach to every project. Our experience allows us to work in a timely manner, and our technical knowledge ensures we meet any challenges that exist or arise. We can do it all. In fact, it feels like we have. Our projects include multi-family, mixed-use commercial and residential, resorts, civic and private residential. Though the project types may vary, the results are the same – highly functional, visually appealing structures delivered on time and on budget.

Why We Do It

Our aim is simple, we want people to love where they live. We accomplish that by building structures that complement the environment, by creating innovative work that performs well and by establishing relationships based on honesty and integrity. Our dedication to sustainable, functional, beautiful design and commitment to community building provide the foundation for all we do.

We respectfully acknowledge that we work and live within the unceded traditional territories of the K’ómoks, Eiksan and Pentlatch Peoples.

Our Vancouver Island Architecture & Design Team

Leadership Team

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TAnis Frame

Architect AIBC, Architect AAA, Architect MAA, LEED AP– Owner and Principal Architect

Tanis is the owner and principal architect at Thuja Architecture Studio Ltd. With two decades in the industry, Tanis has a broad range of design experience working on everything from Richard Branson’s private island to mud huts in Africa. She founded Thuja Design Co. in 2010 to realize her own vision and further develop her craft; completing her architectural training in 2017 allowed her to expand Thuja’s service offerings. The past few years have seen her focus on multi-residential buildings, as well as commercial and residential projects. Besides her experience, expertise and certification, Tanis’ eye for detail and interest in energy efficiency contribute to a highly sought-after perspective. Away from work, she enjoys pushing limits on her mountain bike and sampling craft beer.

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John Salmen

BFA, Senior Architectural Technician and Planning Consultant

Every architect firm needs a person with over 30 years of experience in architectural environmental design, building science, community planning and project development. And John is our guy. While his educational and work background is grounded in sustainable design and community planning, he’s expert at integrating all aspects of a design from site development and space planning through to structural, building and energy systems.

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Rebecca Sorbara

PMP, CPHC, AScT – Senior Project Technologist

Despite her youthful appearance, Rebecca is a senior building science and project management specialist with 20 years’ experience in the architecture industry. She is accredited in building engineering and building science (ABET), project management (PMP), construction management (B.Tech CM) and passive design principles (CPHC). That and specialty expertise in building renewal projects, including envelope replacement, rehabilitation, building systems replacement and upgrades, mean she’s pretty popular.

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Technical Team

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Samantha Whyte

Senior Architectural Technician

Samantha earned a Diploma of Interior Design in 2005, and a Bachelor of Interior Design from Vancouver Island University in 2013 and is working towards her architecture degree. She understands building projects at small and large scales – and how getting small details right affects the overall feeling of a project. Some may say she gets a little too excited about organizing, but we love our perpetual learner’s enthusiasm. You should see her pack a car for camping!

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Michelle De Jong

CAD Technician

Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Architecture (awarded with excellence!) from the University of New South Wales in Australia. She has a wide variety of professional experience, having performed design work for award-winning architectural offices across Sydney, Vancouver and Montreal. She grew up in four countries and has been drawn to carefully planned spaces and their connection to the landscape since the age of eight. In addition to being a passionate problem solver, she’s our resident headstand expert.

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Harkarat Chabby

CAD Technician

Hark used his keen technical and artistic eye to get an Architectural and Engineering Technology Diploma from Thompson Rivers University to go with his BA. An expert in many design programs, including Revit, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Enscape, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, he uses this versatility to be our in-house drafting technician and building design technologist rockstar. In his spare time, Hark likes to unplug and get creative with analog photography. Maybe he’ll even capture his beloved Canucks hoisting the Cup on actual film one of these years!

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Chelsea Ruben

Administration and Development Manager

What Chelsea lacks in design degrees, she makes up for with an MSc in Holistic Science. With a decade of experience in fundraising, project management, collaboration facilitation and business development, Chelsea is in charge of permitting and development application activities for the company, as well as generally holding everything at Thuja together. Not quite as challenging as when she climbed Denali or sailed across the ocean (twice!), but almost.