The book “Brooklyn Modern” by Diana Lind, published by Rizzoli, is a real inspiration to any green builder or contractor in Brooklyn because it shows great examples of creative, green renovations of Brooklyn buildings.
Most of the renovations are not intentionally green, although some are, but the home owners are part of a Brooklyn breed of young creative types that are naturally green minded and careful about where they put their money.
What is intentional is the creative reuse of space without being constrained by what is considered cool or fashionable. These home makers are confident enough to trust their own creative taste and while the results are not always “Country Home and Garden” they are always in my oppinion much more interesting and beautiful because they are real and personal.
The homes portrayed are a great reflection of Brooklyn spirit and as a green contractor that is really important to me. We called our company Eco Brooklyn for that reason. The great combination of Brooklyn energy and ecologically minded people is what makes Brooklyn so great.
This book shows that. The homes are so unpretentious. Without effort they are interesting and beautiful. They have a natural grace about them that so many homes featured in publications lack.
And despite the unique Brooklyn character of the homes, or maybe in spite of them, if you took away the word “Brooklyn” you are hard pressed to know where these homes are. Not USA. Maybe Copenhagen in the summer? Or Melbourne? Toronto?
It shows how clearly there is a cultural wave in these “second tier” cities that is eclipsing the “first tier” cities like Paris, London or Manhattan which have become caricatures of themselves. These lesser known cities are small enough and out of the limelight enough to retain a sense of integrity and organic growth that the larger cities have lost, becoming spectacles (although grand) of their own image.
The same goes for each home in the Brooklyn Modern book. They are small enough and humble enough to retain real character. Other home books show off amazing and dazzling homes that awe, but those homes lack the individual spirit of the homes in this book.
This is a great book and needs to be on every Brooklyn green builder’s shelf as inspiration on how to build green naturally so that it fits seamlessly into the life of whoever they are building for, so instead of building a Frankenstein house with a mishmash of green features you are able to merge them together into a holistic green home that doesn’t actually scream “green” at all.
It is simply a well thought out home that is nice to live in and easy on the environment. Now that is real green building. And this book can help in finding that process.