Honoree Rick Cook

Honoree Rick Cook - Breaking Ground 25th Anniversary Gala
Rick Cook is a Partner at COOKFOX Architects, a firm devoted to creating environmentally responsible, high-performance buildings. Over the past 25 years as a New York City architect, he has built a reputation for innovative, award-winning architectural design.

For 14 years, Rick led the firm Richard Cook & Associates, where he cultivated a broad portfolio ranging from master planning to various commercial and residential projects. In addition to institutional work with Syracuse University, and PS/IS 89, Rick was responsible for the design of The Center for Well-Being - built to anchor the campus of the Ross School, a progressive K-12 institution on the eastern end of Long Island. Rick and the client engaged in a collaborative vision of creating an environment of both intimacy and grandeur that would embody the transformative mission of the Ross School.

In 2003, Rick combined his established firm with Bob Fox to form COOKFOX Architects based on a transformative vision: beautiful design guided by high standards of sustainability, and a commitment to excellence enriched by the collaborative process. Its work includes three LEED Platinum projects in New York City: the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, Skanska USA’s office in the Empire State Building, and COOKFOX’S own office interior.

Rick Cook is also the architect for the Stephen Sondheim Theater, the first LEED certified Broadway theater, an award-winning neighborhood redevelopment in the South Street Seaport Historic District that has been featured at the National Building Museum, and a visitor’s center at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Thinking holistically about children’s health, Cambodia’s environment, and the hospital’s financial sustainability, the project team helped to begin a biodiesel pilot project called Naga Biofuels. The project now provides 100% biodiesel (B-100) refined from waste vegetable oil to a consortium of Cambodian non-profits that are addressing urgent needs in health care and children’s welfare. Currently, Rick is leading the design team for the Neeson Cripps Academy, a ecologically integrated secondary school in Phenom Phen for that city’s most vulnerable youth. In New York, Rick is working on the new Marymount School building that will set a new standard for sustainable, innovative education environments.

The firm’s work includes three projects for Breaking Ground. Rick was the architect for The Hegeman, a high-performance supportive housing project in Brownsville, Brooklyn, winner of several design awards including from the AIA-New York State. Most recently, COOKFOX has designed 411 West 178th Street and 4275 Park Avenue, a supportive housing and affordable housing project which are both currently under construction.

In the summer of 2006, Rick and Bob joined Bill Browning and Chris Garvin to form Terrapin Bright Green LLC, a strategic consulting firm that crafts high-performance environmental strategies for large-scale developments, corporations, and governments. This partnership allows sustainability to be championed and effectively implemented in projects not strictly limited to architectural design.

Rick’s work has been showcased at the National Building Museum, in the New Yorker, and in feature programs on PBS, the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. He speaks frequently on sustainable design and urbanism, including presentations at the UN and for the Economist.

Rick received a Bachelor of Architecture degree cum laude from Syracuse University, where he was named a Hull Scholar, a Gillette Scholar, and was awarded the Norman J. Wiedersom Traveling Fellowship to study in Florence. Rick resides in Rockland County, New York with his wife, Ellen, and their two children.