Victoria Wägner

Experience – curriculum vitae

Victoria has a decade of experience developing spatial, cultural and public realm studies and strategies, and has worked for a range of urban design, architectural and engineering practices.

She works closely with councils, institutions and government groups to set policy and develop ambitious proposals for culture and place. She has wide-ranging experience in building consensus on projects, and advises developers, landowners, designers and community groups on the integration of buildings and public realm projects, often within sensitive and historic locations.

Victoria has a passion for cultural public realm projects. At Context Office, she has worked for the Arts and Culture team of a national infrastructure project, leading on the development of a robust framework for the selection of locations for major public artworks, working within the parameters of an ambitious cultural strategy and complex engineering constraints. Her work involved large-scale spatial analysis, the development of criteria for site selection, and the identification of sites and spatial opportunities, supported by relevant art and design precedents. Victoria has also worked on the realisation of an exciting open-air public art programme on Cork Street in Mayfair. She recently supported the Port of London Authority with their stakeholder engagement on their ambitious Thames Vision 2050, building on her knowledge of the River Thames and its complex interlinked cultural, spatial, environmental, transport, accessibility and development issues. 

Before establishing Context Office with Alex Arestis, Victoria was Projects Director at Publica, where she led strategies, visions and think pieces until 2019. She joined the practice shortly after its establishment in 2010, and over several years worked extensively in the City of London, notably on the Barbican and Golden Lane estates and Culture Mile area. There, she led ambitious and sensitive strategies for public realm improvements that were adopted as City of London policy documents. These linked projects were awarded a Commendation at the New London Architecture Awards 2015. While at Publica she also directed a project for the Mayor of London and the Port of London Authority which established the case for a cultural strategy for the River Thames – the first of its kind. 

During her time at Publica, Victoria also worked on sites across London’s West End, gaining an intimate understanding of the Northbank and Covent Garden areas in particular: in Covent Garden she worked closely with KPF Architects to deliver a detailed public realm strategy for a new courtyard at Floral Court. The project was awarded a prestigious 2020 AIA Award, with particular reference made to the public realm’s successful integration within its historic context. 

Victoria has written articles, delivered talks, lectures and contributed to conferences on subjects including the documentation of urban conditions, the role of placemaking, civic engagement and the spatial needs of the creative industries. She was an invited speaker at the Moscow Urban Forum 2019, where she shared knowledge and lessons from the River Thames and debated the role of rivers as city-wide assets. In recent years she has been a visiting critic at London Metropolitan University, Brighton University and Cardiff University’s architecture schools.

Alongside her Context Office role, Victoria has her own ceramics art practice.