By Lindsay Church
Who knew that renovations on a childhood home would have such a profound impact on the profession a person chooses?
Just ask Christian Giordano, the president of Mancini•Duffy, a New York-based architecture and interiors firm.
As a ten-year-old boy, Giordano watched his mother, determined to renovate the family’s Center Hall Colonial into a modern house with local resources that only understood traditional design.
After observing the various contractors struggle and fail to meet his mother’s visions, Christian became interested in the architectural profession, and hoped to one day be part of it — and get it right.
Upon graduation from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, he headed to the University of California, Los Angeles, to pursue a master’s degree in architecture, where he studied with Frank Gehry and Tom Mayne.
His first job in New York was as an architectural designer at Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; he later made the switch to HLW International.
Giordano joined Mancini•Duffy in 2013, and is focused on leading the firm into its 100th anniversary in 2015.
“It’s an honor to represent Mancini•Duffy as its president as the firm approaches its 100th anniversary,” he said.
“The firm has set a standard for merging both great design and smart business practices to inform our work, and we will carry that forward to a new level in our next century. We are going to continue to be a fantastic, progressive firm, where the overall happiness of our team elevates our work and our service to our clients and the community.”
Giordano has designed many prestigious projects throughout his career for clients such as Under
Armour, Disney, and SJP Properties.
His most high-profile projects are ESPN Digital Center 2, HBO Digital Center, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, Fordham University School of Business, Google 111 8th Ave master plan, Google Dublin Bridge, and numerous residential and corporate developments throughout the Northeast, China and Abu Dhabi.
Giordana is currently involved in the design of a new building at Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y., the master plan for the interior design of Bell Works in Holmdel, N.J., a two-million-square-foot development at the Holland Tunnel, The Blaze Network, and various projects for Omnicom.
In addition to his project work, Giordano’s day-to-day experience at Mancini•Duffy includes meetings with his internal leadership team, attending project meetings and presentations, and developing potential clients of the firm.
However, the best part of the day is when he gets to go home to his family and two young daughters.
One of the most valuable takeaways from his experience as a designer is the influence the profession can have on everyday life for a variety of companies and industries.
“During my career, I worked on a project for ESPN, and SportsCenter is broadcast from that building each day. It was incredible to have a real part in bringing that project to completion and seeing it come to life on air.”
Giordano enjoys learning about the inner workings of his projects – doctor’s offices, cafeterias, etc. – and using his skills as a designer to make them better for those who use them on a daily basis.
In his spare time, he is a member of CoreNet and the Urban Land Institute. He also has a unique talent — artistic cake making. Crafting his talent from watching episodes of Cake Boss and YouTube videos, Giordana has created over 30 cakes for friends and family including a 20-inch-tall Elmo cake, a triple-tier Strawberry Shortcake cake, and an Angry Birds cake with hidden squawk device beneath the frosting layers.
He credits his skills in the kitchen with those he learned in college. “Artistic cake making is like an architectural clay model. In architecture school, that was our medium for model making back then,” said Giordano.
As he looks to the new year and a 100th anniversary, Giordano and his team share a commitment to the enhancement of the firm’s innovative culture and drive to attract young talent to work with Mancini•Duffy’s growing architecture and interiors practices.
“We put great, thoughtful design front and center, and leverage this expertise to solve our client’s problems,” Giordano said.
“Watch for us to elevate our game — a game that we already play at the very highest level.”