The Pod Canberra is a father-daughter owned and run business.
We pride ourselves on our service, product and quality.
From humble beginnings working for Mcdonalds, then designing ships to having an architectural design business for nearly 40 years Rob has been a known name in Canberra and surrounds for design, project management and council approvals.
His design business started off as VR Drafting in Feb 1985 with garages and extensions. It soon became architectural homes and exciting commercial projects. VR had the honor of redesigning a lot of the houses that got taken in the 2003 Canberra bushfires. Rob and his team have designed more the 13000 homes and 500 commercial projects thus far. Thinking about expanding his capabilities, Rob got his builders licence in 2012. He completed only small jobs as the architecture arm of the business was in demand. In 2016 he changed the name to VRD Design, which is what it is known as today.
Just on the verge of retirement, his daughter convinced him to start using his builders licence and take a chance on her business called The Pod Canberra, building secondary residences that Rob and his team at VRD originally designed. It was then that everything changed and Rob became a builder. Started loving it and prefers to be on site with his amazing team he has created rather then be at a desk.
“It’s a new lease on life for me, i love it. I do wake up in the middle of the night wondering if i have missed something but at least it keeps me focused. I enjoy the process of building and making sure the client understands the process. It’s very different to architecture where you design a clients dream home but then you may never see them again or the house completed. Where in the building industry, you can see the happy customer so excited about their project and I now can share that excitement with them which makes me really happy.” Robert Valk
No one would have ever picked Jacqueline to be in the construction industry but to her, she has always done what everyone else wouldn’t expect. Being courageous and learning to fly helicopters, planes, jump out of them, hold snakes, swim with sharks and travel the world, she gets excited by doing something different.
A big part of Jacki’s life has been dance. From a young age she loved it. At 18 she became Australia’s 2nd best salsa dancer and by 20 she was practicing in Los Angeles with the number 2 salsa dancer in the world. She has taught, judged, danced and performed in Mexico, Cuba, New York, LA, Vegas, Vietnam, Sydney, Canberra and many more.
After her accomplishments in dance, she lived in Sydney and worked in Finance and ran a dance company in the evenings. She also started a fashion company wanting to mix her passion for dance with her love of comfortable clothing. When coming back to Canberra (for an initially brief period) she worked for a developer re-fitting out hotels in Goulburn and Canberra.
“My background has been quite varied, and I have always loved having my own business, but enjoyed learning and working for others. When I worked for a developer, it really brought up my knowledge of the construction industry, It also made me realise that I enjoyed interior design. Shortly after that role, Rob mentioned, “If you can do something with this company, it’s yours” (he showed me the design of what is known today as the Pod).” Jacqueline Valk
Jacqueline took Rob’s offer on board, created the website, copy, graphics and photography herself, packaged up the product with supplier and labour pricing and launched it to Canberra. It had a great response and it has kept growing rapidly each year with more designs coming to market and new ideas from the market coming to them. Jacqueline and Rob now both own VRD Developments, the building company that builds and runs the Pod business. She says she loves learning new things everyday and sticking to doing the unexpected.