Misha semenov leiva

Misha Semënov-Leiva


A licensed architect, planner, educator, and writer, Misha studies how to build human habitats–buildings, landscapes, and cities–in harmony with the nature around us and within us. His work explores the ways that elements of building design–from architectural ornament to biophilic design elements–can be optimized to increase environmental awareness and promote a sense of connection and belonging, tying architectural design together with neuroaesthetics, behavioral psychology, and ecology.

In addition to his role as Senior Architect on a variety of project types and scales at Centerbrook Architects & Planners, Misha serves as the firm’s Sustainability Coordinator, leading the practice’s efforts toward net zero carbon buildings. Misha is also Principal Designer at SpiraLworks, an interdisciplinary design practice he co-founded in 2018 with Kas Semenov-Leiva; its Urban Canopy Parklet, a pop-up public space designed to foster connections between city dwellers and urban trees, received an award of merit from the Connecticut Green Building Council.

A LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Passive House Consultant, Misha is an active member of the Connecticut and National American Institute of Architects chapters and a frequent presenter at state and national conferences on sustainable design. In 2022, he was honored with the Emerging Professional Award of Merit by the Connecticut AIA in honor of his service to the profession.

Misha lives in the ecologically significant Connecticut River estuary, and since 2019 has served on the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, an entity created by the state legislature to protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the River. Most recently, he has been involved in an effort to reduce light pollution along the river through zoning legislation and awareness campaigns.

A native San Franciscan, Misha graduated as the Valedictorian of his undergraduate Princeton University class. He received both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, and has previously worked with Kennedy Violich Architects, Sasaki, The Living, and DPZ coDesign.

M.Arch I, Yale University
MEM, Yale University
BA, Princeton University