Place Studio

Place Studio

A Designer with 30-Years Experience


Tanya Kelley is a designer with thirty years of experience, including projects that have been recognized for design excellence from professional organizations and civic agencies. Her projects and articles have been featured in professional, local and national publications, including the New York Times.
She received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the City College of the City of New York and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from The Rhode Island School of Design and currently teaches in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Rhode Island.

She is active in planning and policy in Newport, Rhode Island where she is currently a member of the Washington Square Advisory Commission, and Critical Area Review. Tanya is a Commissioner for the Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission and a member of the The State Preservation and Heritage Review Board.

Tanya is the founder and Principal of PLACEstudio Landscape Design in Newport, RI where she also lives. She is currently working on numerous residential projects in Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, and Narragansett, Rhode Island.

She frequently collaborates with Ron Henderson, FASLA of L+A Landscape Architecture where she has been project manager for planning and design projects in the United States and China – including the award-winning Master Plan for XiHaizi Model Ecological Park in Beijing, Anthracite Garden in Cambridge MA, Pawtucket Downtown Design Plan, Pawtucket, RI, City Walk and the Elmwood Avenue Enhancement Report in Providence, RI as well as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA. She is currently the Senior Project Manager for The Newport Spring Project which is designing the site of Newport’s original town spring formerly Coffey’s gas station.

In 2018 Tanya was awarded a research fellowship at the Preservation Society of Newport to study contemporary sculpture on the grounds of historic houses. The fellowship culminated in a lecture and article entitled ‘The Intersection of Past & Present: Contemporary Sculpture in Historic Places’.

Tanya frequently lectures on a variety of topics at local and regional universities and organizations. Lectures include ‘Strategies for a Diverse and Vibrant Newport Harbor’, at The University of Connecticut Sea Grant; ‘Native Plant Ecosystems and Trees’ at Roger Williams University; Art, Architecture and Historic Preservation School; ‘Newport’s Historic Beech Trees, Collection and Stewardship’, the Poetics of Plant Design Colloquium at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. and she spoke about her own work at DesignXri during RI Design Week at the Newport Art Museum.

Tanya lives in Newport with her dog Pepper and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. When not working, she likes to putter in her house and garden, travel, write, make art, and observe nature.

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