About Virginia Paca


Virginia's philosophy for successful residential design is built on the following principles:

  • Clients current and future needs must be thoroughly understood and integrated into the design program.
  • Communication and transparency among the Owner, Contractor and Architect are essential from design programming through construction.
  • Environmental elements in city codes such as water and energy conservation, green products, and landscaping must be integrated into the design process from the beginning.
  • It is the house and gardens that owner's live in, not the blueprints, and the final project must meet or exceed their expectations of excellence.

In order to provide personal attention during design and construction, Virginia prefers to work on properties in Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, La Canada and adjacent areas. A prior Planning Commissioner and Design Review Board member, she understands zoning code restrictions and what is needed for successful presentations to city review agencies.

Virginia is very much a hands-on architect, regularly visiting her job sites during construction. She will often work directly with craftsmen to fine tune a detail. In landscape projects she will always go that extra mile to find the perfect plant material and will pull out her own clippers to prune an errant branch. Her gardens are regularly featured in the Garden Conservancy’s “Open Days’ program in Pasadena.

Virginia is an organic vegetable gardener and often incorporates edible gardens in her client's projects. Her springer spaniel, Wags, has taught her how to design landscapes that are dog-friendly.

Virginia also lectures on residential architecture and garden design.

“The secret of life is enjoying the passing of time” — James Taylor.
Virginia Worthington Paca - Resume

Bachelor of Architecture - University of Oregon
Architectural License - California C-09970 Architectural License - New York (Inactive, 1989)

Private Practice in California, 1996-Present
Owner of architectural and landscape design firm specializing in the renovation of twentieth century residences in Southern California.

  • Residential Renovation and Additions
  • Integrated "Smart" Design for Personal Technology.
  • Kitchen and Bath Design
  • Private Library Design
  • Historic Preservation and Renovation
  • Estate Landscape Renovation
  • Green Building/Drought Tolerant Design
  • Edible Gardens
  • Project Management
  • Pools, Spas and Outdoor Rooms

Lecturer on Gardening and Residential Design

Senior Project Architect, Miralles Associates, 1989-1998
Transportation, Education, Public Libraries, and Healthcare.

Private Practice, Albany, New York, 1982-1988
Owner of an architectural firm specializing in the renovation of 19th century National Register residential and commercial buildings

Energy Analyst at New York State Energy Office, Building Codes Division, 1979-1982

Co-chair, Southern California branch of the Mediterranean Garden Society, 2012-present Advisory committee member, The Muir Ranch at Muir High School, Pasadena, 2011-2014

Women Chefs and Restauranteur's "Women Who Inspire" Community Service Award 2010

Presidential Citation
Acknowledgement of volunteer service "above and beyond the call of duty" in Mississippi for the APT Hurricane Katrina Relief effort

Giving Garden Project

Virginia Paca maintains a large organic vegetable garden in Pasadena and regularly delivers fresh vegetables to the Friends-in-Deed food pantry. The giving garden project encourages people to grow organic vegetable gardens and share the bounty of their harvest with others.

LA Times: Pasadena Gardener Becomes a One Woman Food Bank
The Woman's Eye: Virginia Paca's Giving Garden