About Studio 9

Studio 9 is a full service architecture firm that emphasizes creative, regional-based designs. Guided by fundamentals of human ecology, we promote energy and resource efficient principles that bridge built environments with natural settings. Our building forms adapt not only to site conditions, but to client program goals. The result is a dynamic composition of practical building assemblies presented in unique and compelling ways.

Studio 9 promotes a blend of traditional and contemporary project delivery models for effective and efficient architecture.  We welcome a team approach on all projects, regardless of size. We value client participation throughout the design process and respect any input that helps guide us towards your final design objectives. Through a layered process of conceptual design, 3D digital modeling, and specialist consulting, Studio 9 delivers inspired designs and accurate documents for feasibility analysis, tender, and construction.

Our clients appreciate site conscious passion driven design, welcome recent technologies that elevate the design process and make it more efficient, and value competent and attentive project management skills. Working with Studio 9 means you will be supported by skilled professionals who can synthesize all of your design goals and deliver an inspired and inventive design solution.

  • Steven Kaup

    Architect AIBC, LEED AP

    Steven’s background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and Journalism, Master’s training in Construction Management, and a Masters degree in Architecture. This experience is fortified with over 10 years sharpening his building skills as a carpenter and contractor in New Mexico and Colorado. Steven’s passions encompass a wide view of architecture as not only a professional service, but a life process. Be it participating as a community member, outdoor enthusiast, or as an agent of positive change for people experiencing built environments.


  • Nelson Rocha

    Architect AIBC, LEED AP

    Nelson’s passion for design and architecture evolved out of an arts background and interest in several related creative pursuits including woodworking, metal work, and industrial design. A Masters degree in Architecture at the University of British Columbia has cultivated a more exploratory approach to Nelson’s design process merging his interest in ecologically sensitive design with a response to social and cultural contexts. During his degree, Nelson studied in Santiago, Chile to gain a new perspective and further expand his experience of architecture in the academic and physical realms. His studies concluded in 2009 with a thesis project that explored how architecture can become a catalyst to promote cycling in Vancouver. Today, Nelson’s design process continues to evolve, deriving inspiration from the natural surroundings in Nelson, BC and nourishing an environmentally mindful philosophy on design and building systems.


  • Alexa Walker

    Intern Architect

    Alexa’s master’s of architecture training in the UK, and exposure to progressive practices in London, Switzerland and British Columbia, Canada, has established a robust background as she emerges to be an excellent professional architect. With inherent attention to detail and a wide understanding for seeking design solutions important client goals, Alexa is successfully executing large and small scale projects for Studio 9 from start to finish.


  • Drafting Partners

    Studio 9 routinely works with independent architectural technologists and draftspersons to help meet project deadlines. Our office has made a conscious decision to stay small so that we can offer the highest standard of client care and attention to the details of your project that matter most to you. We seek out individuals who are competent in their craft and able to help us through busy times. On large projects, we collaborate with Parallel Group, a company that specializes in providing architectural drafting services to all sizes of architectural firms. This allows us to take on larger projects yet still deliver the care and attentiveness you would expect from a small boutique firm.


What compels us with each design is the effort to continue to interpret and make 'place' that tells a story of the land and culture a project inhabits; sometimes gentle, sometimes edgy, sometimes quirky. Each is different, and each is interesting for its own reasons.

Steven Kaup, on critical regionalism

The role of the architect has changed significantly over the centuries. The modern day architect still retains their role as coordinator of the entire design process but as our understanding of how buildings function evolves, an integrated design process with various specialists becomes crucial. A team approach to the design process that values and respects client and specialist input is critical for a successful project.

Nelson Rocha, on design process

'Green' design, as a fundamental effort, is mandatory. We have such a significant role in decreasing energy use both locally and globally. Every project we engage maximizes each facet of green design and balances with the client's budget and goals.

Steven Kaup, on 'green design'

At Studio 9 we have made a conscious decision to embrace technology that makes the design process more efficient and beneficial to the client. The use of 3D Building Information Modelling software allows us to provide our clients with a level of service not available from more traditional architecture firms.

Nelson Rocha, on embracing technology

Adaptive Performance Architecture is the best description I have found for what we do. At our core, we are ecology artists, yet we are also technical geeks that continually try to innovate how building's are assembled using advanced design software and the building materials available.

Steven Kaup, on Adaptive Performance Architecture