John Ciardullo: Architecture and Society

John Ciardullo: Architecture and Society

Edizioni Press, 2004

After returning from Japan, I met architect John Ciardullo through a close friend who was living in one of his luxurious homes in Waccabuc, New York. This book, commissioned by Edizioni Press, was the result of many hours of one-on-one interviews and research. It was refreshing to delve into the work of a socially responsible architect who continues, to this day, to put community experience first. 

“Architecture is a humanistic art. It’s the most social of all the arts. First and foremost, we create an environment for people to live in. Aesthetics is just aesthetics, but how you arrive at a solution to the social issue--that’s the work I’ve been doing all these years.” --John Ciardullo

This architect’s monograph, my first project upon returning to the US from Japan, was a joy from start to finish. The architect had a very clear vision of the message he wanted to convey, as he had recently finished a high-end housing development, and needed to revisit his passion and roots. Since then, he has completed more schools and other community spaces, through new construction, adaptive reuses, and additions. I believe this monograph helped ground Mr. Ciardullo and his company again within the chaos of the United States’ societal excesses of the early 2000s.

From the introduction: “John Ciardullo’s buildings succeed in communities because he sees the existing social organization, respects it, and takes it as a model for the physical form. He knows how strong the community’s civic identity is and what forms it has already taken--architecturally and socially. The post office or public pool may be the community’s focal point, or there may be none. He understands where people connect and where they might connect. If the social fabric is intact, the new architecture is simply a rational continuation. If the fabric is damaged, the buildings encourage their repair. If the community is without much of an identity, the building will eventually succeed if it is a shared vision of a new social organization.”