Published On: Tuesday, 24 July 2018
Vicki Topping Helps Lead Major Architecture Firm
VERNON - When Vicki Topping decided to pursue architecture, she never looked back.
After almost two decades in the industry, she boasts seven years as a partner at MQN Architecture, and has established herself as an industry and community leader who is involved with Kalamalka Rotary and the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA).
MQN was founded in 1987. The business has since evolved into two companies.
MQN Architects serves a wide variety of sectors with their professional services, and is run by three partners, CEO Brian Quiring, Vicki Topping, and Roger Green.
MQN Interiors is an interior design company, which is directed by Quiring and Topping, as well as Dora Anderson, a Registered Interior Designer.
Topping was born and raised in Vernon, and has been involved in the Architecture industry since 2000.
“I have a lot of contractors, graphic designers, and photographers in my family,” says Topping. “My parents renovated our house at least four times, and I was fascinated with how we can transform a space. I eventually decided to pursue architecture school.”
Topping applied to the University of British Columbia and moved to Vancouver three weeks later, where she would eventually complete her Masters in Architecture.
After five years of working in Vancouver, Topping decided to move back home to Vernon to join the MQN team in 2005.
“I was offered partnership in 2011, and I haven’t looked back since,” she says.
MQN thrives because they take on a wide variety of residential and commercial projects, including homes, schools, arenas, car dealerships, hospitality and recreational projects.
They are also leading the charge in offering clients building models and virtual reality walkthroughs.
“There are huge benefits in being able to explore builds in 3-D prior to construction and solve challenges in advance, so we are keen to offer these advantages to our clients,” says Topping.
MQN believes in building into the future of their industry, by hiring and training students each summer. Through internships and scholarships, they mentor the next generation.
“We want to be contributing back to the industry, guiding people in the right direction so we can keep the industry healthy,” says Topping.
About 50 per cent of MQN’s staff are women, including interior design partner Dora Anderson, who has been involved with the company since 2007.
“There are more architects who are women now,” says Topping.
“I went to a celebration for one of my UBC professors, and when he first started, he had only one female student. Now, over 50 per cent of architecture students are women.
Topping was able to find significant success in her field thanks to hard work and some significant mentor figures.
“Women who want to get into the industry need to set goals, find a really good mentor, and have a good support team. If your dream is to become an Architect, there is nothing stopping you. You can achieve your dreams.”