The Afternoon Wrap: Tuesday

New Yorkers wear the city’s chronic expensiveness as a badge–sort of like how North Dakotans are proud of the cold.


  • New Yorkers wear the city’s chronic expensiveness as a badge–sort of like how North Dakotans are proud of the cold. And yet wonderful Oslo is 32 percent more expensive; plus, Manhattan doesn’t even come close to cracking the global most-expensive list. [Matrix]
  • President Putin’s home in the sky is fit for an oligarch (with “enough bling to put almost anyone else’s wings to shame.”) There’s lots of gold-plating for starters, then silk-covered walls, Aston Martin leather seats, a conference room, flat-screen “entertainment systems,” plus a full kitchen. [Luxist]
  • New York mag’s annual list gives Brooklyn the predictable honors of city-best thrift shop, French fries, pizza and dark beer. Then, again, Williamsburg is apparently the best place in NYC to buy an engagement ring. [Brooklyn Record]
  • PR Picture of the Day: The Oversea Chinese Mission HQ [above] will look as good as it sounds. Click below for more on the holy architectural union.

    – Max Abelson

    CETRA/RUDDY AWARDED CHURCH COMMISSION: Renowned Architectural Firm Engaged by Oversea Chinese Mission

    February 28, 2007 (New York, NY) – Cetra/Ruddy, a New York City based architectural firm, has been awarded the commission to design a new world headquarters and church for the Oversea Chinese Mission located in New York’s Chinatown district. The firm was selected as architect and interior designer to provide a creative re-adaptation of an existing mixed-use 12-story building at 154 Hester Street. Construction of the Oversea Chinese Mission is scheduled to begin Summer 2007 with an estimated completion date of Summer 2008.

    According to John Cetra, founding principal of Cetra/Ruddy, “one of the unique challenges of the project is to honor the Mission’s rich heritage while developing an innovative design that will take them into the future.”

    Cetra/Ruddy’s design approach is based on creating one-of-a-kind solutions that form an architectural memory for their clients. The Oversea Chinese Mission’s early 20th century commercial loft building will be redesigned to better serve the needs of the community. The re-configured headquarters will include classrooms, community and pastoral office spaces and a new 2-story sanctuary.

    The sanctuary, which is the heart of the new facility, will seat 750 worshippers and will include state-of-the-art acoustics and audio-visual capabilities for multi-media religious worship in Mandarin, Cantonese and English languages.

    According to Cetra, “having the chance to consider and explore the design parameters of a contemporary religious institution ministering to both the spiritual and social concerns of the congregation is very exciting. We believe we were chosen as we expressed a passion for sharing the journey to define the organization’s mission with exciting architectural expression.” The firm, simultaneously designing a new ground-up synagogue on the Upper West Side, is becoming an expert at “sacred spaces.”

    Jeff Rosenberg, the Cetra/Ruddy principal heading the design team states, “we are creating an inspirational architectural space in which the congregation can find spiritual enrichment. What attracted us to this project was a sense of history and how it reflects the multigenerational fabric of New York.”

    Principals John Cetra, Nancy Ruddy, and Jeffrey Rosenberg have a history of working with institutional and not-for-profit organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, Carnegie Hall, the Edwin Gould Foundation and Columbia University. Their approach to viewing each project individually and crafting solutions fit for each client has enriched their reputation as a leading architecture and interior design firm.

    About Cetra/Ruddy
    Founding Principals John Cetra and Nancy Ruddy have been providing quality design for over 20 years and lead a team of 80 highly accomplished professionals. The Cetra/Ruddy team has a strong commitment to excellence and responsiveness that enables the firm to meet the needs of today’s most sophisticated clients and has earned them an award-winning reputation. The Afternoon Wrap: Tuesday