CetraRuddy Selected Projects #2

History and Culture of CetraRuddy

Established in 1987, CetraRuddy is an award-winning global architecture, planning and interior design firm driven by design excellence and the creating of one-of-a-kind experiences. For three decades, the firm has led with a guiding principle that architecture and design must engage context and enrich the human spirit. The 100-person firm’s thought leadership stems from a shared passion and spirit of creating, as well as the firm’s diversity of backgrounds and cultures. CetraRuddy’s core beliefs begin with the idea that Architecture Is Home, always seeking out the story behind each building site, their deep historical context, and fresh opportunities to craft innovative solutions and lead clients on their journeys toward building a new legacy.

Founded by Principals John Cetra, FAIA and Nancy J. Ruddy, and led by a core group of distinguished principals, the firm works throughout the United States and abroad at varied scales and across typologies including multifamily housing, hospitality, education, cultural and commercial projects.

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Design is a collaborative journey and their work is grounded in understanding the specific interests and concerns of their clients, as well as the unique identity and objective of each project.  They begin by listening and learning from their clients. The belief that design is an organic result of its context, clients, program and purpose drives their collaborative approach. This exploration creates unique projects that are an expression of the shared discovery between their clients and collaborators.

At CetraRuddy they find inspiration and trajectory in intellectually crafting unique and specific design solutions.  Their projects create memorable experience, community and a sense of place in all of the typologies we touch.  They craft skylines, create moments and speak to the poetry of humanity with empathy and generosity.

Their practice creates communities, architecture, and interior environments based on problem solving, analytic research, context and scale.  The resulting solutions embody integrity and authenticity while adding poetry and inspiration to the urban fabric and human experience.  Their work is always about “home” – whether they design a residence, retail experience, hospitality space, or learning environment. They strive to elevate the building typologies they touch by combining their craft, attention to details, and integration of humanity and scale to compositions of articulated geometric forms. These designs are united with advanced building engineering, sustainable technologies, and are responsive to the challenges of efficient time-sensitive construction.

Their process has allowed us to create long term strategic relationships with our clients on projects worldwide and across the residential, hospitality, education, cultural and commercial sectors.

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CetraRuddy Selected Projects


The new educational community at The Choice School seeks to reimagine the architecture of education in India, creating a prototype that will revitalize rural communities and empower future generations of children by providing an academic hub that is ingrained in the community’s culture, heritage and geography.

Building on the already close-knit society of rural India, the prototype houses grades 1-12 in one building, fostering relationships between students of different ages and allowing for a continuum of learning.  The school will consist of a Primary School Block, Middle School Block and High School Block, each containing their own entry, school administration offices, classrooms, library and student commons. This block suggests a conceptual progression of independence as students move from a more dependently organized Primary School to a more independently organized High School.  As students grow intellectually, emotionally and socially, the spatial progression adapts to changing needs between younger and older students.

The new educational community at Thiruvalla provides an opportunity for students to engage at all levels through a design that offers defined and focused spaces for learning and development, as well as transitional spaces to encourage interaction and inquiry inspired by both interior and exterior environments.

Photos by CetraRuddy


The design approach for Lincoln Square Synagogue (LSS) began with the understanding of its congregation’s identity and its desire to create a new building to accommodate its expanding community.   Jewish symbolic references and inspirational imagery played a powerful role in the design dialogue.  In Judaism, the Torah is the “core” structure to the spiritual, educational and social values.  The symbolic significance of its spiral form is the infinite and continual study of its messages.  Thus, the exterior and interior expression of the building centers on the symbolic perception that the five books of the Torah provide the essence for the architectural form. The east façade with its innovative five glass undulating “scrolls” tie together the Sanctuary, the Beit Midrash and the classroom spaces. The expression of the scrolls are not only manifested on the exterior but are perceived on the interior as well through the main lobby’s glass wall and the main curved stair.



Photos by CetraRuddy & David Sundberg/Esto


The design of this master plan repositioned one of the largest residential developments in New York City with over 11,000 apartments. Phases of the project included conceiving a new brand for a sophisticated demographic, locating and providing new amenity spaces, and establishing new apartment renovation standards.

Four crystalline glass amenity spaces, each sitting atop a bluestone terrace podium, were created from unused brick-clad utility areas and are strategically located around a landscaped oval piazza to provide a sense of community.  The “Oval” screening room, lounge, library, and children’s play area were united by individual jewel-toned interior schemes punctuated by bright, sculptural furniture, fostering a lively and playful atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling glass showcases indoor activity while connecting the amenity space to the pedestrian streetscape.

A new concierge center, fitness facility, and security kiosks were sited throughout the property and conceived with a similar modernist design. Two finish packages were incorporated in the model apartments to showcase the newly branded residential options. A rental center on First Avenue was designed as advertisements to the public that a reinvigoration of the community was being built.

Photos by CetraRuddy & Alan Schindler

Do not forget that we will be posting more work by CetraRuddy in the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work!! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!


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