Ivana and Jan are partners in the architecture and urban design practice Benda Architects (Member of Archiart Associates Limited) and the founding partners of Allied Architects International (AAI) in Shanghai. They both graduated and earned their PhD degrees from the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech University of Technology in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1987, Ivana and Jan moved from Czech Republic to Canada. Ivana is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and a full member of the Urban Land Institute. She served as the ULI Award for Excellence – Asia / Pacific jury member from 2006 to 2008. Jan is a member of the Czech Chamber of Architects.
Ivana & Jan Benda joined Crang & Boake Architects – Canada in 1988 and subsequently Bregman + Hamann Architects with whom they started to work on Chinese projects in the beginning of 1990s. Ivana and Jan have lived and worked in Shanghai since 2001. Individually or as leaders of design teams, they have participated in approximately 75 projects in Canada and Czech Republic and about 450 projects in China. Their portfolios include a number of project types such as hotels, research centers, retail and residential complexes, office buildings, urban design, mixed-use developments, and family houses. The construction area of their many projects ranges from four thousand to over four million square meters.
Ivana and Jan are known for creating landmark architecture, namely innovative and unique hotel concepts. The most successful among their more than 20 hospitality projects are Crowne Plaza hotel in Suzhou - opened in 2008, the Narada Resort Hotel in Perfume Bay in Sanya - opened in 2010, and Tonino Lamborghini Urban Resort Hotel in Suzhou - opened in 2012. All of them have been recognized and awarded for the top hotel design in China and internationally.