firm profile


Urban Keios was established in Ottawa in 1991 as an architectural design firm. Inspired by the spirit of the atelier, the firm has been transformed over the past two decades into a multi-disciplinary design practice, and is currently lead by its original co-founder Nick Semanyk.

Since the firms inception, it has received numerous accolades from clients and industry associations for producing innovative and unconventional designs in both the residential and commercial realms.


In the tradition of the “atelier”, our goal is to evolve into a creative laboratory bringing together ideas from the areas of film, video, sculpture, painting, industrial design and architecture to create an energetic and truly interdisciplinary collective.

Urban Keios draws upon its architectural and artistic expertise and experience to interpret each client’s unique conceptual and/or programmatic requirements, to then direct the project in developing uniquely-creative design solutions.

The philosophy of Urban Keios Design incorporates a fundamental belief in the power of innovative design through clarity of program to inspire the inhabitant and transform the spirit of place.


The Urban Keios portfolio spans a broad range of artistic endeavours that include architectural design, interior and industrial design, graphic display and concept presentation, set design, sculpture and video installation art.

The studio combines the disciplines of design, project management and construction, utilizing the most current technology and sustainable design techniques available today in order to provide a uniquely creative approach to each project.

Projects range in scope from the simplest residential and commercial interventions to complex multi-million dollar interior fit-ups and custom building projects.

The success of Urban Keios can largely be attributed to its commitment to imagination and creative development throughout the evolution of each project.

This constant discourse, and collaborative approach during the design process ensures that each finished work will exceed expectation in terms of building performance and design excellence.