About First Pen Studio

Formed in 2016 on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore, First Pen Studio specialises in contemporary residential landscape architecture.

Our website needs a refresh but we’ve been too busy with projects to update it!  Please get in touch and we can send you recent examples of our residential work.

About Oliver Bence

Owner, Oliver Bence, APALA, CSLA, CMLI, has over 13 years experience as a landscape architect working in Canada, the UK and the US. Most of this time was spent working with multi-disciplinary design teams on multi-million dollar projects until he began to take on residential projects on the side.

He started First Pen Studio in 2016 to focus on this work whilst continuing to work large scale public, institutional and commercial projects at the award-winning Upland.

Oliver’s broad project experience includes homes, hospitals, parks, schools, streets, universities as well as sea level rise and flood mitigation design but he really enjoys residential projects. ” I love working directly with client’s on their own properties. It’s awesome to take their ideas and needs and turn them into concepts and buildable designs.”

Oliver combines creative flair and technical ability to create exciting and buildable projects. He specializes in contemporary landscape design but above all wants to create sustainable, long lasting places for people to use and enjoy.


We provide landscape design that combines a contemporary aesthetic with a functionality to suit a client’s needs and budget along with the site’s location, topography and microclimate.

We liaise regularly with our clients throughout a project and use our technical expertise to take concepts to detailed design and tender. We then work with contractors to see the project through to the end of  construction.

We get our kicks by creating designs that bind these ingredients together and seeing it being constructed into a reality for our clients to enjoy.

We provide a Property Visualisation service to home buyers and Realtors to help them see the potential of an unloved outdoor space, backyard, roof terrace or property.

The service comprises of a concept sketch plan of the site, a 3d sketch and a sheet of precedent images with a summary of the design intent to show what could be created on the property.

It can be created with hand drawn graphics and a small brief and some site photos or a more complex process with a site / client meeting followed by the production of SketchUp models and photoshopped illustrations, all depending on the client’s needs.

Why Choose First Pen Studio?


We have professional standing in Atlantic Canada and the UK. As a member of APALA (Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects), CSLA (Canadian Society of Landscape Architects) and a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute, we have professional qualifications and a commitment to promote and ahere to these organisations’ professional codes of conduct.


We are a small firm with a wide network of professional associates covering a multitude of disciplines required to see projects from beginning to end. From first contact we will ensure you have the most outstanding team to envision and see your project through to completion. Building lasting and responsive relationships with our clients and associates is the key to our success. It is our strong suit and our pleasure at First Pen Studio.


We have the bit between our teeth, bursting with drive and ideas that we want to share and implement on projects. Match this to the experience gained from projects here and overseas and we create great contemporary design with a functionality to suit budgets, climate and build-ability.


P.O.Box 1680, Lunenburg, NS, B0J 2C0

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