World Leisure Jobs - Rick Cook on the need for sustainability, wellness and resiliency in design...
13 Jul 2020 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

01 Apr 2020

Rick Cook on the need for sustainability, wellness and resiliency in design
BY Stu Robarts

COOKFOX's work ranges from small

COOKFOX's work ranges from small

Since being established in 2003, COOKFOX Architects have gained a reputation for being proponents of architecture at the intersection of sustainability and wellness, which co-founder Rick Cook says is more pressing now than ever.

"Our current studio is LEED Platinum, but it's also the first WELL Gold certified project in New York," he explained to CLAD in an interview by way of example. "Which has much more of a focus on human health and wellness and ways that we can achieve those. And, go figure, they're now topics that we're all going to be focussed on moving forward."

Future wellness

Cook was talking from his home overlooking the Hudson River, social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggested that the current situation would draw wellness in architecture into sharp focus.

"We're all going to be very interested in our health – and there are technologies that are showing some promise for how we can continue to provide healthy environments when we gather together – but a big blanket statement for COOKFOX is that we like to go back to nature under the theory of biomimicry. You might as well look at three billion years of evolution to see how problems are solved instead of thinking we're going to do it in the next three days."

Sustainable beginnings

Needless to say, this is a far cry from when he and Bob Fox set up the firm with a simple desire to pursue beautiful, innovative and sustainable design.

The firm's mission to "create environmentally responsible, holistic and biophilic architecture that fosters occupant wellbeing and a healthy urban landscape" is now particularly pertinent, but Cook explains that he rather stumbled upon the concept of sustainability through his work in the late nineties designing the Ross Institute Center for Well-Being, which educates students to become effective global citizens

"The thought at the time we did the Centre for Well-Being was that the world of architectural design had been really obsessed with the visual," he explained. "The way we conveyed the art of architecture was through pictures in magazines, but the way you experience architecture is with all of your senses."

"Around that time, the US Green Building Council and the LEED rating system were founded and they were really focussed on energy and carbon. We had a global perspective, but it was really focussed on energy.

"So, when we all started making buildings that we tried to ensure were better for the planet, it was really about energy, technology and how we could reduce the carbon footprint. But what we stumbled on was that when we made buildings better for the planet, we could make buildings better for people."

Benefits to business

COOKFOX recognised that the energy costs for a typical company in the US was a tiny fraction of the cost of running the business, whereas its people could account for anywhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of that cost.

"If you could increase productivity, you could more than pay for the stuff that we were interested in. Radically cutting the energy – where the cost for a company is 1 per cent – that's nothing. But if you can impact productivity by 1 per cent, you can have a huge economic impact," explained Cook.

With that in mind, the firm started pitching in terms of human health, wellness and wellbeing, but it was the output of these that captured the attention of prospective clients.

"The funny thing is that it wasn't so much that people really cared that much about people's health as much as we'd like at the time," Cook said. "It was that there was a lot of competition for the best talent, which there still is today, so we started to talk in terms of recruitment and retention – and when you talk about recruitment and retention of talent, people really listen."

Varied projects

Today, COOKFOX's work ranges in scope from small "jewel" projects and single-family homes to complex urban transformations and large institutional and commercial spaces. All, however, are built on the firm's underlying principles.

Its 150 Charles Street residential development in New York, for example, saw the adaptive reuse of a massive abandoned warehouse made of concrete, brick and glass. The firm sought to integrate the development with the natural and historic environment of the West Village and, as a result, it features biophilic elements throughout, as well as over 30,000sq ft (2,800sq m) of landscaped space, including green rooftops, planted terraces and courtyards.

The mixed-use 550 Vanderbilt development in Brooklyn was designed to integrate nature for the health and wellbeing of its residents, with natural materials like wood and stone used to create an inviting, tactile experience that transitions residents from the street to their homes.

And One South First/10 Grand, a residential, commercial and retail development in a converted sugar refinery also in Brooklyn, not only features a gym, a café and common areas for its occupants, but also a roof garden with greenery and outdoor recreation space.

An evolving vision

As these projects show, COOKFOX remains true to its original vision, but that vision has been – and continues to be – distilled and refined over time, not least recently during a project for Oxford Properties, of which Google is now a tenant.

"When we did the research for the new Google headquarters, there were three overlapping things that came up over and over again about the workplace of the future," said Cook. "One was wellness, another was authenticity and the third one was flexibility, which you can substitute for resiliency."

"We talk about resiliency from natural disasters, in environmentally responsible work and, now, we're all going to be confronted with resiliency in the way we work."

This idea of resiliency is a more macro concept for providing insulation against many individual threats as whole – be they from the climate, to health, against economic upheaval or anything else – and Cook sees it being the next major trend in architecture and beyond.



Connect with
World Leisure
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
European operations helped PureGym survive losses of £4m a week during lockdown
European operations helped PureGym survive losses of £4m a week during lockdown   13 Jul 2020

PureGym's operations in Europe have helped the business through the UK lockdown, according to CEO Humphrey Cobbold. In 2019, PureGym acquired .... more>>
Here are the COVID-19 operating guidelines you've been waiting for: government publishes standards for gyms, spas and sport
Here are the COVID-19 operating guidelines you've been waiting for: government publishes standards for gyms, spas and sport   13 Jul 2020

Following its announcement that grassroots sport could restart on 11 July and that gyms and spas could also reopen during July, the government has .... more>>
Four Seasons Silicon Valley brings wellness refresh to guest rooms with Tonal wellbeing upgrade
Four Seasons Silicon Valley brings wellness refresh to guest rooms with Tonal wellbeing upgrade   13 Jul 2020

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley, US, is the world’s first hotel to feature Tonal, an intelligent in-room gym and personal trainer, for guests to use .... more>>
Alberto Apostoli, Laszlo Pucko and Martin Goldman to speak at inaugural Medical Wellness Congress
Alberto Apostoli, Laszlo Pucko and Martin Goldman to speak at inaugural Medical Wellness Congress   12 Jul 2020

Vladi Kovanic, founder of industry event, Forum HOTel&SPA, has announced the launch of a new medi-wellness event called The Medical Wellness Congress. .... more>>
Company profile


TRIB3 International Ltd

A world class experience to challenge every client. Affordable luxury brand with award winning design that creates a total experience each time.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

BC SoftWear develops natural cotton and triple layer face masks for washing and reusing

BC SoftWear develops natural cotton and triple layer face masks for washing and reusing

Following a quick customer survey to establish demand, BC SoftWear pulled out all the stops to design and deliver a high quality and exceptional value face mask that their customers in the hotel, laundry and spa sectors could rely upon. More>>




in this issue

• Fitness United set up to support sector
• MPs write to Rishi Sunak, asking for tourism support
• Government 'stepping up plans' for the return of sport



World Leisure jobs




Personal Trainer
Salary: Self-employed
Location: Catford, London, UK
Company: énergie group
Fitness Motivator / Personal Trainer
Salary: Competitive
Location: Midhurst, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Swimming Teachers
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Location: Nationwide
Company: Everyone Active
Lifeguards
Salary: Competitive
Location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
Company: Everyone Active
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

13-17 Jul 2020

Future Leaders

IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain


16-17 Jul 2020

APSWC Round Table 2020

Naman Resort, Da Nang, Vietnam



Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Interview: Sioux-per foods
The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, is on a mission to revive indigenous cuisine More>>
  Tourism: Right to roam
Sweden is inviting everyone to come and stay – and indulge in a spot of wild camping. Jenny Kaiser from VisitSweden talks about the initiative More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Regeneration: High ideals
In Utah, a bunch of hip entrepreneurs is creating a crowdfunded ski resort More>>
  Interview: Craig Lister
Green Gym’s managing director is harnessing the power of gardening More>>


Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd