PreviousNext

Featured Member: John Cetra Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

AIA News You Can Use by • 03/09

Over his 35-year career, John Cetra has assembled and led a design practice dedicated to the transformation of urban multifamily housing and residential architecture. Since co-founding his firm, CetraRuddy, with his wife and partner, Nancy Ruddy, in 1987 Cetra’s work has been rooted in a rigorous, ongoing study of urban contextual fabrics and patterns of habitation and has resulted in buildings that reinforce community and neighborhood. In addition to his residential work, Cetra has completed cultural projects such as the Lincoln Square Synagogue, the first new modern orthodox synagogue to be constructed in Manhattan in over 45 years. The 2017 Jury of Fellows of the AIA elevated Cetra to its prestigious College of Fellows in the second category of fellowship, which recognizes architects who have “Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training or practice.” Now among the AIA membership’s three percent distinguished with fellowship and honorary fellowship, Cetra will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando as well as at the New Fellows Reception hosted by AIA New York on March 13.

Here, Cetra tells us why being a Fellow motivates him to continue exploring the notion of “home” in high density urban environments:

Q: What is your earliest memory of experiencing architecture? 

A: My earliest memory of experiencing architecture actually came through my experiences of building houses in Queens—modest homes, constructed simply. I remembered feeling that they could be so much better, in design, in relationship to the street, and community. It was not until I began my studies in Architectural history, specifically, studies of the Renaissance, that I understood architecture could express higher levels of meaning. Those studies led me to Italy to experience first-hand the works of Alberti, Palladio, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, to name a few. In the U.S., my travels to see and experience the works of Lou Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright also inspired me.

Q: Who do you most admire? 

A: Architects that have inspired me have inspired countless others. But the greats like Frank Lloyd Wright, and Lou Kahn, or Antoni Gaudí or Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, showed me that architecture could be moving and expressive of design and humanity. I always had an incredible feeling of wonder whenever I was in any of their buildings. Someone I admire more—who without her wisdom, keen design sense and incredible business acumen, I would not have been able to accomplish what I have done—is my partner and wife, Nancy Ruddy.

Q: What are you working on right now? 

A: We are fortunate to have a number of different projects. In our residential practice, we are working on a super tall tower at 45 Broad Street. This 1,100-foot-tall mixed-use tower will encompass 206 condominium units and 60,000 square feet of office space. We are also working on a 520 unit condominium tower on the far west side of Manhattan as well as a new hotel/residential tower in the Hudson Yards. We are just starting on a new museum of photography in Manhattan and in Calicut, south India, a new school for 2,500 students from lower to high school.

Q: What does being a Fellow mean to you? 

A: To me, becoming a Fellow means that our work in advancing the profession of architecture has been recognized and that the College of Fellows has motivated and inspired us to continue our exploration of the notion of “home”; to continue developing new thinking in areas of design in high density urban environments where we are focused. I am truly honored to have been elected to the College of Fellows and by this recognition. I look forward to contributing in scholarly discussion on ways to improve our profession in service to society.

Editors’ Note: This feature is part of a series celebrating the 18 members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter that have been elevated to the prestigious AIA College of Fellows in 2017, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to both the profession and society. Learn more about Fellowship here. See the previous Featured Member here.

2 Responses to Featured Member: John Cetra Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

  1. Pingback: Featured Member: William Cunningham Elevated to AIA College of Fellows | News - What’s New at AIANY and the Center for Architecture.

  2. vincent j colangelo says:

    I recall briefly knowing John and Nancy when we were together at City College School of Architecture in the mid ’70′s and how proud our fellow students were hearing John had been accepted at Harvard. Though they were a semester ahead, they served, unknowingly, as an inspiration to fellow students struggling at a ‘commuter school’ which, at the time, was not much in favor as an institution noted for turning out design professionals’.
    Having followed, quietly, their practice/careers over the years, I offer a humble congratulations for their continued success and John’s deserved elevation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus Interior, New York, NY. Credit: Peter Aaron.
Featured Member: Thomas Grassi Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
Credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia.
Policy Pulse: 300 Architects, Advocates and Leaders Attend AIA Grassroots Conference Policy Pulse
Hugh Hardy at the New York Academy of Sciences. Credit: Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA.
Remembering New York Architect Hugh Hardy, FAIA (1931-2017) In Memoriam
Allie Mae Public Library, View of Story Hour Corner, New Orleans, LA. Photo: Courtesy of MDA Designgroup.
Featured Member: Elisabeth Martin Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
Alex O'Briant takes the mic. Credit: Center for Architecture.
Busting Myths: How Can Social Research Impact Design? At the Center for Architecture
The TRA Studio-designed restoration of the façade of the New York Academy of Art (NYAA). Credit: TRA Studio.
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
Yolande Daniels' Josai I-House Togane Global Village by studioSUMO is featured in "SAY IT LOUD: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA | NOMA." Credit: Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photo Co. Ltd.
On View On View
300,000 aluminum cans, recycled and cast into cracked clay, form Cast & Place: City of Dreams Pavilion, slated for NYC's Governors Island this summer. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by 03.27.17!
New Deadlines New Deadlines
IMG_0810-2
Classifieds Classifieds
Categories: Best in Show; Architecture Honor Award. Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Executive Architect: Gensler. Landscape Architect: SCAPE. Project: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University. Location: New York, NY. Photo: Iwan Baan.
AIA New York Names 2017 Design Awards Winners AIA News You Can Use
Zach Inglis via Unsplash
Driverless Future Challenge Policy Pulse
From left: Farzana Gandhi; T. Alexander Aleinkoff; Sean Anderson; Eliza Montgomery; Alfredo Brillembourg. Credit: Center for Architecture.
Designing for the Refugee Crisis Reveals Both Hard Truths and Hope At the Center for Architecture
When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America’s Cities and Universities by Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA.
Oculus Book Review: When Ivory Towers Were Black by Sharon E. Sutton Book Reviews
John Cetra, FAIA, co-founder, CetraRuddy Architecture. Credit: Evan Sung.
Featured Member: John Cetra Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
Adrian and Jack work on their birdhouse designs.
Students Design Animal Architecture at Studio@theCenter Learning by Design
300,000 aluminum cans, recycled and cast into cracked clay, form Cast & Place: City of Dreams Pavilion, slated for NYC's Governors Island this summer. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by 03.27.17!
In the News In The News
Belfer Research Building, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY. Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto.
Featured Member: William Cunningham Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
Names in the News Names in the News
05.19.17: Call for Entries: Blank Space/City of New York/New Lab/AIANY/ Fast Company’s The Driverless Future Challenge
New Deadlines New Deadlines
“Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House,” through 04.22.17
On View On View
Offices Available for Rent
Classifieds Classifieds
Ann Marie Baranowski, FAIA. Credit: Paulette Pascarella.
Featured Member: Ann Marie Baranowski Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
Square 650 pixels_final
Spotlight on the 2017 AIANY Design Awards Jury AIA News You Can Use
The Forest House Apartments in the Bronx, recipient of LIHTC
Housing Policy: A Closer Look Policy Pulse
1 - Lighting Up at PS1 This Summer
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
05.19.17: Call for Entries: Blank Space/City of New York/New Lab/AIANY/ Fast Company’s The Driverless Future Challenge
New Deadlines New Deadlines
“Architecture of Independence – African Modernism,” through 05.27.17
On View On View
Classifieds Classifieds
Patrick J. Burke, FAIA, Assistant VP, Capital Management, Columbia University Medical Center. Credit: Edmund M. Kramer Photographers, Inc.
Featured Member: Patrick J. Burke III Elevated to AIA College of Fellows AIA News You Can Use
AIANY Releases Guiding Statements From the Executive Director
Sharswood Blumberg Redevelopment in Philadelphia
Announcing the Winner of the 2016 Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant Center News
Architects Advocate published an open letter to President Trump regarding actions addressing climate change.
Architects Advocate Open Letter to President Trump Policy Pulse
New York Coalition of Black Architects (NYCOBA) Members, 1979. Credit: NYCOBA.
‘SAY IT LOUD’ Includes Timeline of Black Architects in New York At the Center for Architecture
Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, AIA; Marc Tsurumaki, AIA; and David J. Lewis, AIA.
Oculus Book Review: Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis Book Reviews
1 - New in NoHo
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
New Deadlines New Deadlines
“Architecture of Independence – African Modernism,” opening 02.16.17
On View On View
Desks for rent in TriBeCa
Classifieds Classifieds
Representatives from at least 10 different architectural and urbanist groups joined the Women's March on Washington.
Architects Build Hope at Women’s March Reports from the Field
The New York Cypher of the nationwide Design as Protest event focused on new ways to use design in support of at-risk communities.
Policy Pulse: Design As Protest in NYC Policy Pulse
Nominate AIA Architects for Fellowship! AIA News You Can Use
Proud parents listen as PS Q300 second graders talk about the neighborhood model they made during a culminating presentation.
First Semester Wrap-Up Learning by Design
Over 300 attendees gathered at the Center for Architecture. Photography by Center for Architecture.
NYCHA Debuts Design Guidelines for Improving Public Housing At the Center for Architecture
1 - Two Performance Venues in One Space
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
02.03.17: Call for Entries: AIANY 2017 Design Awards
New Deadlines New Deadlines
“SAY IT LOUD: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA | NOMA,” through 04.01.17
On View On View