2019 Young Architects Award Recipient

Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

A leader on projects and in her firm, Erica A. LiBritz, AIA, boldly engages large-scale complex projects in challenging urban environments. Tapping into her expertise in zoning, she finds opportunities to support vibrant communities across the economic spectrum while pioneering technical advancements to bolster collaboration and efficiency.

A senior associate at New York City’s CetraRuddy Architecture, LiBritz has earned the respect of her colleagues and collaborators through her design excellence and innovative forms. She was project architect for 45 Broad Street in New York’s Financial District, an 80-story, 1,100-foot tower slated for completion this year. Her management approach led the expanded design team to work in BIM to explore and resolve design challenges and structural obstacles for the project, which occupies an extremely narrow 63-foot-wide site.

Working in New York City requires a masterful understanding of zoning, and LiBritz is able to find opportunities hidden among the challenges the city presents. Because of her deep knowledge of New York’s restrictions, she is able to implement creative solutions and options for sites that are normally overlooked. Her expertise has positioned her as valuable resource in her firm, and she regularly guides colleagues through hands-on exercises. She has completed numerous large-scale zoning and feasibility studies; for 45 Broad Street she was able to create a more accessible district by leading the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure that resulted in two new subway elevators at the site. She regularly facilitates presentations for public representatives, and municipal and regional planning commissions to advocate for her clients and to better the neighborhoods and communities she serves.

LiBritz is an eager mentor, working tirelessly to broaden the skills of her fellow emerging professionals and deepen the CetraRuddy talent pool. She led the firm’s participation in the PENCIL Partnership, a nonprofit that supplements STEM education for third-grade students in the Bronx. At the firm’s office and in schools, she facilitated activities, tours, and learning experiences relevant to architecture and the built environment. LiBritz also regularly participates in the ACE Mentor Program, encouraging high school students to pursue careers in architecture and related fields.

LiBritz has long been an active member of the AIA as well as the Urban Land Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council. She is a supporting member of New York’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and has been recognized as a Young Urbanist by the Municipal Art Society of New York.

Passionate and kind, LiBritz is more than willing to share what she knows to inspire those around her. Her talent and mentorship both influence the very fabric of New York and make an indelible impression on future design professionals.


Raymond "Skipper" Post, FAIA (Chair), Post Architects, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Edward Vance, FAIA, EV&A Architects, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada

Peter Kuttner, FAIA, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

John Castellana, FAIA, TMP Architecture, Inc., Bloomfield Hill, Michigan

Roger Schluntz, FAIA, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Lora Teagarden, AIA, RATIO Architects, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

Image credits

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Alan Schindler