For 35 years, John Cronin has safeguarded New York’s waterways, investigating dozens of pollution cases and authoring three laws to protect the Hudson River and its communities. So when Cronin, director and CEO of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, began planning the institute’s first research facility, the Center for Environmental Innovation and Education, he knew its physical form should embody its ecological ideals. Instead of just building green, he went one better: Working with international architecture and design firm Gensler, he transformed an abandoned 19th-century brick factory into a state-of-the-art structure packed with sustainable technologies.
Arik Levy’s designs have been produced by a variety of big names—e15 (SH05 ARIE shelf, pictured below), Zanotta, Council, Living Divani, and Bernhardt Design, to name a few—but the Paris-based, Israeli-born designer is still taken with the thrill of the potential that comes from new partnerships: “The first project together is like a first kiss. You never know how it tastes until you separate the lips.”
George Smart, executive director of Triangle Modernist Archive, is a modern-day Lorax for modern-designed houses. In early 2007, a quick Internet search for “Raleigh modernist architecture” took Smart to a web page describing the story of the mid-century Eduardo Catalano house, famous for its expansive butterfly roof, in Raleigh, North Carolina—and its subsequent destruction in 2001 by McMansion developers.
It may be hard to believe, but Buffalo, New York, was once a pinnacle of high-tech innovation, even dubbed the City of Light for being one of the first electrified towns in America. But today, with the century-old houses in the city’s low-income East and West Side neighborhoods standing in disrepair, a new organization called Buffalo Basics is hoping to reenergize the city with a low-tech approach—hands-on training.