Reflecting growth and global leadership in architecture and creating vibrant urban communities, the innovative design firm CetraRuddy has announced that one of its leading architects, Erica A. LiBritz, AIA, LEED AP, has been named a recipient of the 2019 Young Architect Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The annual program recognizes “individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers,” according to the AIA.

In conferring this honor on LiBritz, a senior associate at CetraRuddy, the Young Architect Award jury announced their recognition of her exceptional work in urban multifamily developments and her contributions to the field through mentorship and active engagement in professional and philanthropic groups. One of only 22 honorees nationwide, LiBritz exemplifies CetraRuddy’s continued commitment to enriching communities with large-scale experiential lifestyle projects with a focus on effective client collaboration and a track record of successful project design and delivery, says the firm’s cofounder John Cetra, FAIA.

An accomplished project manager with expertise in zoning analysis, LiBritz has played a vital role for CetraRuddy in winning project approvals through complex land use review processes and other public agencies, as well as approvals by community boards and regional planning commissions. In particular, the Young Architects Award highlights LiBritz’s role in one of CetraRuddy’s latest high-rises- 45 Broad Street, an 80-story, 1,100-foot tower now under construction in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Reflecting on CetraRuddy’s innovative design solutions for the narrow, 63-footwide site, the jurors commended LiBritz for “boldly engaging large-scale, complex projects in challenging urban environments,” and for her ability to “find opportunities hidden among the challenges the city presents.” In particular, work by LiBritz on zoning and feasibility studies at 45 Broad Street helped result in two new subway elevators at the site, dramatically expanding accessibility to the property while bettering the neighborhoods and communities it serves.

The Young Architects Award also acknowledges LiBritz and CetraRuddy for the firm’s longstanding emphasis on mentorship, professional development, and community engagement. Since joining the firm in 2013, LiBritz has helped broaden the skills of her fellow emerging professionals and deepen CetraRuddy’s own talent pool. She has participated in the firm’s PENCIL Partnership program, a nonprofit that supplements STEM education for third-grade students in the Bronx. LiBritz also regularly participates in the ACE Mentor Program, encouraging high school students to pursue careers in architecture and related fields. LiBritz has contributed expertise to other philanthropic initiatives by CetraRuddy, including the firm’s sponsorship of architectural design studios at the City College of New York (CCNY) Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, focused on urban housing solutions.

“Erica LiBritz is a detail-oriented team player, a strong leader, and a technically expert building designer,” added Cetra. “She goes above and beyond her formal duties to mentor staff, share knowledge and demonstrate our firm’s capacities for creating innovative urban structures. Erica demonstrates everything that a young architect should be.”