eCREATIVE One of Barbara’s recent and most innovative projects was working with the gallery ceiling structure steel of the Whitney Museum ceilings - 168 tons of steel! To realize architect Renzo Piano’s vision, she worked on the Whitney’s gallery ceilings to make them constructible at a large scale. “The steps to weaving one small basket in free air aren’t the same steps when translated into a building that is exponentially l a rger a nd requi res preci s e repeatability,” she explains. “Material tolerances as well as standard industry and union practices must be creatively drilled down to achieve success.” know how to do this because the cutting edge is really out there with the people doing it daily.” Pook grew up building things Growing up helped to shape the young Barbara’s view of the world and her knowledge about materials. Her dad “knew how things got put together,” she says. “That is just how his brain worked. Of course, my sister and I grew up building things or being very involved in how things got built. And he was a great lover of art and [he] painted too.” Barbara Pook and her sister grew up building things, not learning to cook or babysitting like their other girlfriends. So how did Barbara Pook get involved in this highly technical and demanding profession? Gerrard Pook, her father, an architect, was a senior partner at the prestigious firm of Holabird and Root in Chicago taught his daughter a lot about buildings. “You can do things today with concrete with steel or glass that you couldn’t do in the 1950s,” says Pook. “You have to partner with a great engineering and contracting group who Though never allowed near her father’s office, Gerrard Pook had a drafting table at the end of the hallway at home so Barbara and her sister always saw him drawing. “As children, we were cutting bricks and laying sidewalks. We were not allowed to do things like learn to cook or babysit or work in a store, like all my little girlfriends did,” she (Continued on page 13)