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Wensley Architecture Ltd.

Although it initially made a splash in Alberta and B.C. primarily as a shopping centre and retail design firm, Vancouver-based Wensley Architecture Ltd. (WA) caters to a wide range of project types in the residential, office, and senior health-care sectors.
WA has completed a number of noteworthy projects of late, including City Centre 1 (a 12-storey, 183,000 square-foot LEED-Gold medical-office building); Laurel Place Care Facility (a seniors’ complex-care building in the Surrey Memorial Hospital ‘campus of care’ zone, that consists of 227 care beds); Crown Isle Shopping Centre (a 120,000 square-foot retail centre in Courtenay, anchored by Thrifty Food) and The Waterstone Mixed-Use project in Langford.
WA’s evolution occurred shortly after principals Barry Weih and Neil Banich took over the firm from founder B. James Wensley in 2001. “One of our goals was to become a significant player in a number of sectors, and to accomplish this we developed a diverse and talented team that could deliver in these areas,” says Weih.
WA is a classic mid-sized design company that enjoys the strengths of both the large conglomerates as well as boutique firms: on one hand it can deliver substantial projects on time and on budget, but on the other, it’s nimble enough to respond to changing needs and evolving trends—as well as maintain one-on-one working relationships with clients.
The partners openly acknowledge the late Wensley’s passion for design combined with his skill for the business side of the profession as factors in shaping the company. Current challenges to the industry include the need for more sustainable design at every level.
Despite ongoing consolidations in the industry, Weih and Banich are optimistic about the future. “In our 13 years of ownership we’ve built a great team and forged incredible client relationships,” says Weih. “These are the elements that will continue to sustain us in the foreseeable future.”