KRA - Kirsten Reite Architect Inc. is a Vancouver-based architecture firm that specializes in many aspects of architectural design, planning, and interior environments. Our vision for design excellence, attention to detail, determination, and a desire to contribute to the betterment of the human condition brings our team together.
Our team has been responsible for such notable projects as the Chinook Regional Hospital Addition, the Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre - Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay, and is currently the architectural compliance team lead on the New Edmonton Hospital and Health Campus Project. While we are known for our proficiency and experience in designing healthcare environments, we focus on projects of all shapes and sizes where we can add value. The common thread in all of our projects are our clients who share our values of trust, respect and excellence. As such, we are developing a diverse portfolio of work ranging from commercial, heritage and building renewal, hotel/residential and education projects. Our current work spans across Western Canada with projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Lead by Principal Kirsten Reite, who has practiced architecture for over 24 years, Associate Principals, Sylvie Gagnon, Julie Verville, and James Madley, and Senior Associates, Natalie Russell and Arleen Evangelista, our team brings together a diverse group of talented and dedicated architects, designers, technologists and graphic designers.
chinook regional hospital
leon judah blackmore centre for sleep disorders
earls kitchen + bar — ambleside
leon judah blackmore centre for sleep disorders
vancouver general hospital simulation centre
herschel supply co. flagship store
lgh carlile youth concurrent disorders centre
CLAIRE BALDERSTON | B.DES, CERT. ID
ART DIRECTOR + INTERIOR DESIGNER
Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Communication Design from Emily Carr University, and has since received a Certificate of Interior Design from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Claire's role is multi-faceted allowing her to be involved in many stages of a project with experience ranging from coordination of reports to wayfinding schemes and interior design. Claire also brings her skills in marketing to the team by coordinating proposals, magazine features and award submissions. Her multidisciplinary design background makes her a strong asset to the KRA team.
When she's not at KRA, Claire enjoys reading, cooking and gardening. She also works with The Writers' Exchange, a local non-profit that provides literacy programs to inner-city kids.
LILA BUJOLD | B.A
Lila graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. With over 7 years of office administration experience in the architectural field, Lila brings her creativity and passion for organization to KRA. Coming from a mid-size architectural firm has given her the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of the architectural process, from creating brochures and Development Permit booklets, to coordinating Building Permit and Occupancy Submissions. She is always excited to learn something new and be of assistance to her colleagues, making her a great addition to the team. She also specializes in architectural photography, having worked with local architecture firms and developers to capture their projects with her keen eye for layout and design.
When she is not at KRA, you may find Lila DJing at a local spot, gardening in her community garden or walking her dog, Gonzo.
SHAILEEN CHAND | BBA
Shaileen completed her Bachelors of Business Administration from Yorkville University in New Brunswick and her Financial Management Diploma in Accounting from British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her love for numbers has encouraged her to pursue the Chartered Professional Accountant program in 2018. Coming from a large property development company, Shaileen has developed a passion for the industry of architecture. Shaileen has a keen eye for detail and enjoys problem solving, making her a perfect fit for the KRA team.
When she’s not at work, Shaileen can be found exploring the outdoors or at a local coffee shop buried in a book. She also loves exploring new cities around the world.
JORDAN ELIAS | B.A.
ARCHITECTURAL STUDENT INTERN
Jordan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Alberta, studied Environmental Design at the University of Manitoba, and is currently working to complete his Masters of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. Prior to studying in Vancouver, Jordan worked in the world of provincial politics for a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Alberta.
Outside of work, Jordan enjoys taking road trips with his wife and their dog, Maisie.
ARLEEN EVANGELISTA | M.Arch, B.Comm
SENIOR ASSOCIATE + PROJECT MANAGER
Arleen moved to Vancouver in 2007, completing her internship primarily with Peter Cardew Architects prior to joining KRA in 2016. Arleen has a wide range of experience from cultural, multi-residential and retail with a primary focus on custom single family homes. She has been involved in all aspects of the design process from schematic, to detailed construction working drawings and on site construction administration.
She enjoys working on all scales of a project, especially exploring the human scale and enhancing their engagement with architecture through craft, attention to detail and thoughtfulness.
When not at work, Arleen enjoys cooking and trying the city’s newest restaurants. Otherwise, you’ll find her outdoors running after her daughter or playing with power tools.
SYLVIE GAGNON | ARCHITECT AIBC, AAA, MRAIC,
ARCHITECT, ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL
Sylvie studied interior design as well as architecture in Quebec city prior to moving to Vancouver in 2005. Since then, she has been working for local firms and gaining diversified experience on a broad range of projects.
Sylvie’s main focus over the last 10 years has been in healthcare although she has also worked on commercial and higher education projects. She has been involved on various renovation, expansion and new build projects throughout the province of British Columbia, allowing her to discover new places. Sylvie is always looking for new challenges and enjoys working on complex projects. She takes pride in what she does and values the team’s work.
Outside of the office Sylvie likes to explore new grounds; hiking, camping, cycling and road tripping (no destination needed). On rainy days you can find her planning her next adventure!
CHLOE HAHN ARCHITECT AIBC
Chloe studied architecture in Carleton University and holds a Master of Architecture degree from McGill University. Since moving to Vancouver in 2007, Chloe has gained a variety of experience in residential, office and institutional projects in BC. She enjoys the process of turning abstract ideas into visible outcomes.
When she’s not at the office, Chloe enjoys hiking, travelling, playing and listening to music.
JULIA MACDONALD-ALLAN | BSc (Hons), PGDIP AAD, ARB, RIBA, ARIAS
PROJECT MANAGER — UK
Having worked for several years in one of Scotland's most established firms, Julia is an experienced UK Registered Project Architect. She moved to Vancouver in 2011, working on several health care projects throughout BC, before joining KRA in 2014. After having a daughter in 2016, she moved back to Scotland to be closer to family but is delighted to be able to continue working for KRA remotely. Throughout her career to date, Julia has acquired skills in all project phases – from inception to completion – on numerous new build and renovation projects including health care, higher education, laboratories and research facilities, offices, and heritage projects. She enjoys a challenge, and finds nothing more satisfying than being able to successfully solve problems both in the office and on site. Julia brings her passion, dedication and expertise in the fields of contract administration, project management, and coordination to the team, and finds satisfaction in ensuring that project objectives are achieved, and that client, patient and user group expectations are met and surpassed.
When not working or running around after her daughter Julia enjoys spending time with family, traveling around the Scottish countryside, watching movies and trying out the ever expanding restaurant scene in Glasgow.
JAMES MADLEY | BSc (Hons) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN + TECHNOLOGY
With over 15 years of experience, James brings a strong technical, contractual and project management background. During his first six years in the United Kingdom he worked on various institutional, commercial and heritage projects whilst his nine years in British Columbia has consisted of predominantly large mixed use developments, retail and healthcare.
James has managed projects up to $150 million and his attention to detail, client service and communicative approach with consultants, user groups and authorities allows him to carry projects successfully through to completion.
Outside of work you will often find James outdoors hiking, working out or playing soccer. He also enjoys music, cooking and socializing with family and friends.
BREANNA MULHALL | ARCHITECT AIBC
Breanna holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of British Columbia. As an architect, Breanna brings a fresh, critical perspective to our team. She excels at identifying potential in existing conditions and has found a natural fit in regenerative design and development.
Prior to joining our team, Breanna’s range of experience included education, wayfinding, and hospitality. Presently, her main focus is designing healthcare environments. Breanna faces each new challenge with enthusiasm and takes pride in delivering projects with care.
In her free time, Breanna enjoys spending time along the ocean – rain or shine.
NICOLE OTTE | ARCHITECT SACAP, EDAC
Prior to relocating to Vancouver in 2014, Nicole completed her Master’s Degree at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and went on to undertake her professional exams, qualifying as an architect in 2014.
Her experience to date has been in a variety of projects ranging from more specialized work for higher education laboratories and air traffic control centres to auditoriums and most recently high rise mixed use towers.
Nicole most enjoys specialized projects that challenge normal design conventions and through their restrictions force ingenuity. Aside from everything else she finds these projects captivating and down right awesome. The mention of gas lines, spectrometers, petri dishes, radio wave towers, etc gives her architectural tingles and she is at her best working on projects that she is passionate about.
When not doing architecture you will find her in the mountains questing for glacial lakes, shaded forests and that perfect spot to pitch her tent.
KIRSTEN REITE | ARCHITECT AIBC, MRAIC, AAA, SAA, MAA, LEED® AP BD+C
During her 24 years of work in the field of Architecture in British Columbia, Kirsten has gained a wide variety of experience in the many facets of Architectural practice and design. Although her primary focus has been health care design, her interests also include building renewal, post secondary, office and residential design.
Kirsten prides herself in her skill of bringing together the often-competing interests of users, patients, consultants, contractors and culturally diverse communities to facilitate a participatory atmosphere and create an enjoyable and enriching experience for all involved.
When not at work, which is rare these days, Kirsten enjoys being outside!
JACQUELYN RICHARD | ARCHITECT AIBC, MRAIC
Originally from New Brunswick, Jacquelyn completed her Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies and Master of Architecture at Dalhousie University before relocating to the West Coast in 2012.
Prior to joining KRA, Jacquelyn gained experience in offices in Halifax, Edmonton, and Vancouver, with a recent focus on custom and multi-family residential. She is particularly drawn to projects that incorporate adaptive-reuse strategies and urban planning that reinforces active transportation.
Outside of the studio, Jacquelyn can be found staying active on the mountains hiking and skiing, enjoying a good book, or planning her next adventure abroad.
NATALIE RUSSELL | ARB, MRIAS
SENIOR ASSOCIATE + PROJECT MANAGER
Prior to relocating to Vancouver in 2014, Natalie completed her Master’s Degree at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art + Design in Scotland and went on to undertake her professional exams, qualifying as an architect in 2012.
With experience in all project phases, she has worked on a number of building types ranging from fire halls to medical centres and most recently a mixed-use residential development in the Downtown Eastside.
Natalie has a strong interest in adaptive reuse and enjoys exploring the potential of regenerating a heritage building or an overlooked space. With rigour and creative problem solving, she finds the experience both rewarding and full of potential.
When Natalie is not at KRA, she enjoys exploring the city on foot and the surrounding area by bike. When the weather turns to rain, she can be found wandering the aisles of her local bookstore.
LINDA SONCINI | ARCHITECT AIBC
SENIOR ARCHITECT + PROJECT MANAGER
Linda is an AIBC registered architect with over 11 years of experience working in British Columbia, Alberta and in the United States. She has spent the last 6 years focusing on healthcare projects including P3 projects on both the compliance and proponent teams.
Linda has experience being directly involved in all stages of a project, from schematic design to building completion and occupancy. She enjoys her role as Project Manager as it allows her to apply and further develop her communication skills with a focus on working as a team and fostering a collaborative approach to problem solving.
Following in this spirit of teamwork, Linda’s main passion outside of architecture is partner dancing; taking and teaching classes, competing, organizing and traveling to dance events throughout the year!
SPENCER TODD | ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST AIBC, LEED AP
PROJECT MANAGER / SENIOR TECHNOLOGIST
Spencer has a background in architectural technology, building design and construction. He has developed a solid depth of knowledge from a wide range of healthcare facility, higher education and CCC projects from design through construction.
As well as producing construction documents, writing construction specifications and ensuring compliance with applicable building codes and by-laws, Spencer takes a keen interest in collaborating with co-workers to raise the standards of construction and development, which has resulted in several years of experience working in key roles on LEED and Living Building Challenge projects.
When Spencer is not in the office he enjoys spending time on the beach or in the forest enjoying the changing seasons of the Okanagan with his family.
MICHAEL TOWNSHEND | M.ARCH, B.ARCH SCI
Michael is a passionate designer and a Master of Architecture graduate from the University of Toronto. After completing a Bachelor of Architectural Science from BCIT, Michael worked in Vancouver on a wide variety of award winning projects, including single-family houses, multi-unit housing, commercial and office buildings, and international airports.
Michael's multi-faceted skill set originates from his background in woodworking, furniture design, and experience from taking part in theoretical design competitions – all of which he continues to explore outside the office.
As an avid adventurer, Michael enjoys roaming the outdoors both locally and abroad. Prior to returning to Vancouver he traveled across Australia and New Zealand and continues to scope out future voyages.
JESSICA VANDITMARS | B.A, CERT. TECH.
Jessica completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Geography and a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Simon Fraser University in 2011. After some soul-searching, she realized the technical aspects of architecture were her passion, developed from an early age through “bedtime stories” of looking through floor plan magazines with her father and living through numerous renovations. She returned to school and completed her Certificate in the Architectural Graphics Technician program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in 2017. She enjoys creating custom components and finding efficiencies in BIM modeling. She is excited to learn more about the technical aspects of healthcare design and to be part of a team that brings new life into old buildings.
Outside of the office you will find Jessica hiking with her husband and dog, cooking a new recipe, or pushing herself at the gym.
JULIE VERVILLE | ARCHITECT AIBC, LEED® AP BD+C
With over 14 years of experience, Julie brings a breadth of experience in a wide variety of practice areas. Julie studied Building Technology as well as Architecture prior to relocating to Vancouver in 2005. Her well rounded design background gives her a rigorous perspective when developing innovative design solutions.
Julie's project experience includes healthcare, institutional, residential, heritage restoration, mixed use and retail. In each project, she brings attention to detail, consideration of the ecological impacts of a project, and a patient and thoughtful approach to all communication. Julie also participates in multiple social responsibility initiatives across the lower mainland.
In her free time, Julie participates in a wide variety of outdoor activities. She loves traveling and especially likes backpacking and cycling trips. When she's not out on an adventure, Julie loves sewing.
CINDY WALKER | DESIGN, B.SC., BID
Cindy brings over 20 years of experience to her role at KRA having worked on projects in commercial, healthcare and institutional sectors. Cindy has a passion for communication, innovation, and strategic design, and strives to understand the needs of individuals through exploration and collaboration in the creation of thoughtful design solutions with meaning and impact. Prior to Vancouver, Cindy has lived in Calgary, Alberta, and Sydney, Australia where she worked for internationally recognized furniture design companies.
Outside of work, Cindy’s interests include trail running, cycling, music, travel, and coffee.