6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Battery Park office of architecture-interior design firm CetraRuddy. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
Husband-and-wife team Nancy Ruddy and John Cetra started architecture/design firm CetraRuddy in 1987, and after working from an office in Soho for 25 years, the firm moved to One Battery Park Plaza a year-and-a-half ago. Now with 100 employees, they had outgrown the space and wanted to use the move as an opportunity to revamp and improve the things that didn’t work. They were first attracted to the space’s light and views, but the firm was also able to occupy the entire floor, meaning they could design the entire office space, as well as the corridors.
After recently interviewing Nancy about CetraRuddy’s many successes, 6sqft paid a visit to their new offices, where we received a tour from Eugene Flotteron, Director of Architecture. Eugene has been with the firm for 17 years and has been a partner for five, so he’s had the opportunity to see them grow and transform over the years.
Take the tour
To the dismay of many New Yorkers, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors in 2017 for a huge renovation project that will ultimately create larger hotel rooms and add a new set of luxury condos. After the plans were announced, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the hotel’s first three floors as an interior landmark, meaning the new owners will need to preserve the 1931 Art Deco spaces. But after a four-year hiatus (the hotel will reopen in 2021) and a completely new vibe, it’s not clear if those interiors will have the same glamorous, old-school New York vibe that they were once famous for. Luckily, photographers James and Karla Murray captured the Waldorf in all its glory before it closed its doors. Ahead, take a tour of the old Waldorf, from its iconic, two-ton lobby clock to the three-tiered grand ballroom.
Take the tour
Sketch by Richard La Rovere courtesy of the Journal Square Community Association
A Jersey City community association wants to turn an abandoned rail cut into a 17-acre High Line-style park. The Journal Square Community Association is proposing turning what used to be the Erie Railroad’s four-track cut through the Palisades into a public park. Better known as the Bergen Arches, the historic rail-cut borders Journal Square and opened in 1910, but has not been in use since the late 1950s. Since then, the Bergen Arches has become an overgrown wooded area in the expanding Journal Square neighborhood.
Details this way
Rendering courtesy of Brookfield Properties and Park Tower Group.
Developers Brookfield Properties and Park Tower Group have unveiled the next phase of development in the massive Greenpoint Landing waterfront project, including an addition to the public waterfront esplanade designed by James Corner Field Operations and mixed-income housing designed by OMA, the architecture firm founded by Rem Koolhaas. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on the two new towers and an adjacent seven-story building that will bring the total number of units in the project to 745, of which 30 percent will be affordable.
More this way
Rendering: DXA Studio.
A curvy urban pathway designed by DXA Studio could allow commuters to pass between the new Moynihan Train Hall at West 31st Street to the High Line and Hudson Yards at 30th Street without having to deal with cars at all. The design is the grand prize-winning entry–for a $15,000 prize–in the 2019 Design Challenge by Metals in Construction magazine. The contest asked architects, engineers, and students to create a pedestrian bridge that could safely move the approximately 100,000 people daily that travel from the train hall to Hudson Yards while keeping the foot traffic from affecting the street below.
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Photo courtesy of CetraRuddy
When Nancy Ruddy and her husband John Cetra formed architecture firm CetraRuddy in 1987, they wanted to “create inspirational spaces and buildings based upon the ideas of craft and the human touch.” Thirty-one years later, and the 100-person firm has achieved this goal and then some, marking the skyline with their soaring One Madison tower, transforming Tribeca’s 443 Greenwich Street into the hottest celebrity residence, and adapting historic buildings by prolific architects such as Ralph Walker and Rosario Candela. They’ve also distinguished themselves by combing architecture and design practices, which was most recently showcased at their designs for the new Time Warner Center restaurant Bluebird London.
Ahead, 6sqft talks with Nancy Ruddy about how all of these successes came to be, where she sees the architectural landscape of NYC heading, and what it was like creating a destination dining space overlooking Central Park.
Hear from Nancy
According to sources close to the project, plans for Norman Foster’s Red Hoek Point, a 7.7-acre commercial campus at the former Revere Sugar Factory on the Red Hook shoreline, appear to be getting scrapped, The Real Deal reports. The website still advertises the “revolutionary office campus on the Brooklyn waterfront,” but Thor Equities is reportedly going to abandon the 800,000-square-foot complex and replace it with warehousing, a change of course that Thor’s founder Joseph Sitt may have been considering as early as last October, as new renderings for Red Hoek Point were being developed.
Rendering via CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design
6sqft reported last May on a proposal for a civic design project aimed at reconnecting the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City. Brooklyn-based studio CRÈME‘s concept, called Timber Bridge at LongPoint Corridor, calls for constructing a floating bridge made of durable timber that would span Newtown Creek and expand past it to the LIRR rail yard in LIC. Not only would the new bridge provide greater access to transit options, but, according to the design team, Timber Bridge would give cyclists and pedestrians a safer commute than the car-jammed Pulaski Bridge. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that this grassroots initiative is now just a bit closer to becoming a reality with the creation of a nonprofit and new support from local civic leaders.
Bridge love, this way
In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue; last month brought more details from the firm’s proposal that was submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The most recent design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Yesterday LPC approved the new preservation-friendly designs–with some modifications. The office tower is now on track to reopen in 2020.
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Image courtesy of Downtownbrooklyn.com.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced today the selection of a joint proposal from design firms WXY Studio (WXY) and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG Architects) for a public realm action plan aimed at implementing long-term improvements to Downtown Brooklyn’s plazas, streets, and public spaces to keep pace with the neighborhood’s unprecedented growth. According to a press release, the two firms will conduct a comprehensive study and create an implementation plan for Downtown Brooklyn’s public realm and help “advance Downtown Brooklyn as a competitive, national urban center.”
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