public pavilions and competitions

crystal skirts

for Hyde Park London, a winter wonderland competiton.


Hurricane Maria memorial, NYC, 2019

VSA made it to the “interview round” for our submission to the New York City competition, the Hurricane Maria memorial, in Battery Park. We were interviewed on Nov 22, 2019 by the NYC commission’s art consultant. We honor the victims of Hurricane Maria with our piece,  ROOTS, that aims to share the story of the vibrant community of Puerto Rico in New York. Our  concept is based on the arching roots of the giant kapok, the national tree of Puerto Rico. We designed vaulting arches to create a unique place of contemplation: these arches also create portals to overlook the bordering harbor on one side, and high rises to the other. The vibrancy of the contrasting granite and copper speaks to the energy that the Puerto Rican community has added to  New York City since as far as back as its first settlers in the 1850s. The symbolism of the roots, at once bare but regenerating, gives hope to the victims’ families.  Mural within proposed by Cesar Vivero. Design Lead: Valerie Schweitzer. Support Team: Hacken Li.

folly/function 2019 entry proposal, 2019

sponsored by the Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park.

jam session  

a proposed kiosk for the urban park in Long Island City, we chose to link our structure to the jazz greats of the Astoria area. Due to its sculptural expression and raw materials, jam session announces Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, NYC, as a locus for artistic expression. Its palette of industrial materials that includes corrugated aluminum heightens our awareness of the park’s industrial context. The jagged lines and panels of vibrant colors recalls the syncopated rhythms of jazz greats who once called Queens their home. This improvisational quality of jazz is congruent with a site that was once a landfill: making something of pleasure from unexpected elements. The kiosk is designed to be prefabricated, broken into several easy to manage sections, and reassembled on site. It is a functional “folly”.


pangolin pavilion

citation by Archasm, Wildlife Pavilion Competition, Kenya

embrace me tree pavilion

Design by Valerie Schweitzer AIA ; Rendering and diagrams by support team, Hacken Li  and Mary Cocozielo

This design has received been published to promote the AIA of Long island. It was also used to launch a new design section in The New York times, October 1, 2020 and has won multiple design awards.



A shade structure and rain collector for the garden of a wellness center.

We propose clusters of fabric structures to create shade and collect rainwater into reflecting pools at the center of each pod. They are made with a basic aluminum frame, 3″ diamter aluminum poles, and Sunbrella fabric.

Inspired in part by animals that live and hang from trees, as well as their habitats. Three types of canopies vary in height, radius, and color, to create kinetic spaces beneath for healing cancer patients. The goal was to use fabric in a unique and architectural way–here the structures protect  from harsh sun light, while collecting rain water. The structures also loosely resemble flowers at various stages of opening and closing away from the sun.

chasm lighthouse

A lighthouse archetype re-imagined as a memorial to the Concordia victims


A Holocaust Memorial proposed for a plaza in Bologna

“A Passage from Barbs to Souls”  by Valerie Schweitzer AIA (2015)

With an economy of means, we attempt to make the passer-by remember the horrific mass murder that occurred in the concentration camps in a time of denial.

Please See Holocaust memorial page 

“And the Dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto the Divine who gave it”. –Eccesiastes 12:7

“Memory is the scribe of the soul.” –Aristotle


bubble shade citation

Citation at by Architizer and Sunbrella, 2017 (For shop drawings see Bubble Shade category) By Valerie Schweitzer. Visualization by Hacken Li

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Architectural Digest Open Auditions –winner

Master Architecture Prize, 2017

Archdaly nomination for best small building, 2019

German Design Council nomination, 2018