New Appointments Strengthen Our Technical Excellence

New Appointments Strengthen Our Technical Excellence

News // Jan. 4, 2023

Our reputation for technical excellence and superior client service is driven by our talented, passionate team members and their efforts – each day – to provide design solutions that are sustainable, aesthetically beautiful, responsive to user needs and exceed the expectations of our clients.
As STUDIO tla looks ahead to the future, we recognize the importance of offering opportunities for growth and advancement, while recognizing the outstanding efforts of high-performing employees.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Layal Bitar and Chen Zixiang to Associate. Both team members have demonstrated exceptional growth and talent, while embodying the drive and passion required to spur our firm’s pursuit of design excellence and client-focused solutions.

Layal is an Associate | Project Manager and Landscape Designer at STUDIO tla whose project work concentrates on public parks, waterfront revitalization, public realm and streetscapes. Layal has a keen interest in the relationship between public parks in urban contexts and green infrastructure.
As a project manager and landscape architect, Layal has collaborated on projects of varied scales and types, from urban design and master planning, to institutional and commercial developments, and Sports and Entertainment districts in Canada, the United States, Middle East and Asia. Prior to joining STUDIO tla, Layal's professional experience involved working for several years in Beirut, Dallas and Shanghai.
Since completing her Bachelor of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management at the American University of Beirut in 2012, Layal has been involved in an array of projects across several geographies. She is a graduate of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at The University of Texas at Arlington where she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the LAF University Olmsted Scholar Award and the Texas ASLA Honor Award.

“I am eager to continue exploring and implementing design technologies, such as Virtual Reality into our everyday practice, and enhancing workflows that contribute positively to the iterative design process. I strongly believe that advancing these areas will ultimately lead to a more productive and engaging relationship within our studio’s culture and our project stakeholders and partners.”

As an Associate | Landscape Architect at STUDIO tla, Chen’s project work is centred on master planning, community design and entertainment / park design. He is particularly interested in creating dynamic, engaging spaces with a universal appeal that are responsive to the needs of modern urban lifestyles. 
Born in Hunan, China, Chen studied Architecture at Central Academy of Fine Arts, China and Studio Arts at the University of Guelph before he obtained his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree at University of Guelph. While at University of Guelph, Chen received both LAF’s the University Olmsted Scholars Award and ASLA’s Merit Award. He credits his cultural background and fine art experience as a major influence on his work in the landscape architecture profession. Chen was the design leader on the “RisingUp” team that won a seat in Toronto’s 2018 Winter Stations Design Competition.
Chen is an avid traveller and driving enthusiast who enjoys watching and participating in car racing. His travel experience inspires his project work at STUDIO tla, while his experiences on the racetrack encourage him to push limits and boundaries.
“Being appointed an Associate is a great opportunity for me to embrace a bigger leadership role at STUDIO tla. I’m looking forward to bringing even more energy to the studio and inspire our entire team and our work to be more fun and creative.”