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American Building

60 EpisodesProduced by Michael GravesWebsite

American Building, hosted by Atif Z. Qadir, Sponsored by Michael Graves & REDIST, shares how iconic buildings came to be from the perspective of their developers, investors, and designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level what they faced over the course of the entire building proc… read more


53: Pioneering Sustainable Architecture | Tommy Craig of Hines & Rick Cook of COOKFOX

Today, I’m joined by Tommy Craig, Senior Managing Director at Hines, and Rick Cook, Founding Partner at COOKFOX. Tommy and Rick are both pioneers of the sustainable architecture movement and have joined forces for the 555 Greenwich and 345 Hudson Street project. As it stands, they’re two existing buildings that form an entire block in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan. The goal for 555 Greenwich was to stitch the two buildings together, complete 345 Hudson Street, and face west out towards the Hudson River. 

The combined buildings are 1.2 million square feet, and as you can imagine, designing that kind of space isn’t without its challenges. However, the team at COOKFOX has come up with a way to embrace those constraints and create a thermally active superstructure, the first of its kind in New York City. Rick describes the firm’s various efforts to make radical carbon changes and revamp this 100-year-old building to serve the community for the next 10+ decades. 

We also discuss the importance of mentorship, how their own mentors have impacted their career development, and what they hope to pass on to the next generation of young architects at their respective firms. We touch on the current trends that are making buildings better for the planet and its occupants, and how to balance the quality and speed of construction. Listen in to hear more of our conversation about sustainable and modern living spaces. 

About the Guests:

Tommy Craig is Senior Managing Director and the Co-Head of the New York office of Hines, as well as Head of the Boston office. Hines is an international developer, investor and manager of real estate with nearly 5,000 employees worldwide. He is on the board of the Urban Design Forum,  and the Phipps Houses, a non-profit affordable housing developer. Previously, he taught at Columbia Business School.

Rick Cook is a Founding Partner at COOKFOX, the New York City based design firm he started in 2003 with Bob Fox. Their work focuses on office, residential, interiors and cultural projects and how the natural environment can intertwine with the built environment. Prior to COOKFOX, he founded and ran his own firm, Richard Cook & Associates for 14 years.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • A brief history of the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan 
  • What a thermally active superstructure is and how they’ve achieved it with this project 
  • Why it’s so crucial to create enticing office environments with this new hybrid work model 
  • Understanding the WELL and LEED Certifications 
  • The purpose of sustainable architecture at COOKFOX
  • The sector diversification that has occurred within Heins and the opportunities is provides in the new economy 

About Your Host

“Atif Qadir is the Founder & CEO of REDIST, a technology company making it easy for commercial real estate professionals to find and use the $100B of real estate incentives given out every year in the US.”

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