Written by Erin Sweeney (BWAF)
Career in Architecture
Victoria received her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. In 1993, Victoria took her first steps toward being an entrepreneur, collaborating on several projects that earned distinction, including the Takashimaya Tea Box Café (Interior Design Award, NYC AIA). She was the project architect for the Chinese Scholar’s Garden on Staten Island, which involved the coordination of an American construction team and a construction team from the Landscape Company of China. Extensive research was completed for the garden-villa design through travel and documentation of a variety of Souzhou-style scholar’s gardens. The Chinese Scholars Garden received an Excellence in Design Award from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Victoria has been involved with community development and outreach. As a steering committee member of the Hoboken (N.J.) Coalition for a Better Waterfront, she participated in the planning and design of a 28-acre waterfront park. Victoria’s past experience has expanded CDR Studio’s résumé to include Wagner Park Café, a 2,500 square foot food-service installation for the Battery Park City Authority. Victoria was also involved with the development of the schematic design for the Discovery Center at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and participated in construction administration for the Eileen Fisher Store and Showroom development. Victoria’s commitment to sustainable design was highlighted during her tenure as partner-in-charge of the evolvement of 16 Mercer Street, an extensive condominium conversion that featured an innovative thermal-fluid tank for off-hours electrical storage, as well as an intensive green roof and penthouse.
Victoria has in-depth experience with the renovation of historic structures. She was the principal-in-charge of a façade restoration and lobby renovation, complete with a connection to the subway below, for Bryant Park Studios — a masterful landmark building located on 40th Street in Manhattan originally built as artists’ lofts. For the rehabilitation of the Filmmakers Collaborative, a 24,000 square foot landmarked 19th century industrial building with limestone façades, Victoria inserted a new service core and delicately threaded a new steel framework while salvaging the rough hewn wood floors and beams. Breathing new life and identity into the original structure while simultaneously addressing current codes and modern lifestyle requirements, the design of this project carefully balances historical patina and modern amenities.
Victoria is currently the principal-in-charge of the Audi USA showroom master plan implementation. The Audi commission requires pragmatic conversions of existing structures as well as an array of ground-up facilities. It features some 85 projects in varying states of design or construction under the master plan umbrella. Her work for Audi requires balancing the needs of a multilayered, complex network of client and governmental constituencies.
In addition, she has just completed a New York City headquarters for the fashion group Proenza Schouler, a 7,000 square foot showroom for a high-end women’s clothing company. She recently taught a seminar at Parsons The New School for Design, focusing on the interrelationship between human sensory capabilities and architecture.
Major buildings and projects
- Takashimaya Tea Box Cafe, New York
- Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Staten Island
- Wagner Park Cafe, Battery Park City Authority, New York, NY
- Discovery Center, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
- Bryant Park Studios restoration and renovation, New York, NY
- Filmmakers Collaborative rehabilitation, New York, NY
- Proenza Schouler Headquarters, New York, NY