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Public Space That Doesn't Suck: Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) TEK Center

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The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a firm based in Denmark, Copenhagen, was founded by namesake Bjarke Ingels in 2006 and has been on the architectural community's radar ever since. BIG's work is known for being simultaneously playful and socially conscientious. Though many of their projects are situated on dense urban sites, BIG often carves outdoor spaces within the vertical confines of buildings. Their Technology, Entertainment and Knowledge (TEK) Center in Taipei, Taiwan continues this trend. Other notable BIG projects include the Danish Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo 2010 and innovative housing projects such as 8Tallet and The Mountain Dwellings, which feature topographically inspired sections that incorporate terraced roof gardens with sweeping views.

Santiago Calatrava's Ysios Bodegas

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The word "harmony" may be immensely overused in the architecture world, but it’s difficult to avoid when describing Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s creations. While many bask in the glow of his paradoxical designs, some see his projects as nothing short of an architectural attack against harmonic city planning. Regardless, Calatrava’s reputation for structural risk-taking has made him one of the most recognized architects in the world. With a background in architecture and civil engineering, Calatrava is also a sculptor and painter. This artistic combination is evident not just in Ysios Bodegas but in the majority of his projects, which often blend (or clash) the worlds of intricate design with practicability.

Structural Insulated Panels vs. Conventional Framing

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The all-inclusive, load-bearing design of structural insulated panels (SIPs) offers an energy-efficient, quiet alternative to conventional wood framing methods. In recent years, SIPs have increasingly grown in popularity as builders strive to provide more durable products, use more environmentally sustainable building methods, and reduce costs. According to AMA Research, SIPs are now the fastest growing new building method on the market.

London 2012: Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid

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Zaha Hadid’s building at the London 2012 Olympic Park is more than simply an aquatic center: it will factor largely into the public experience of the Olympic Games.

For the gateway to London’s Olympic Park, internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid was selected to design one of her signature sculptural buildings. Hadid's London Aquatics Centre will be the venue for Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming, Paralympic Swimming, and the aquatic portion of the Modern Pentathlon. It is scheduled to host 192 events in all.

Zaha Hadid’s Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

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At first glance, Cincinnati, Ohio, appears to be a typical Midwestern city. A closer look reveals a sophisticated community of architectural trendsetters. Beginning in large part with a transformative vision for the University of Cincinnati campus in the late 1980s, Cincinnati is now home to a major concentration of signature contemporary architecture. One of the architectural treasures of Cincinnati is the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, home of the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). Designed by Pritzker Prize award winner Zaha Hadid and opened in 2003, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art allows CAC to serve its organizational mission to unite art and people in a provocative architectural environment.

ROI Behind Geothermal Systems

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As the green building movement begins to hit its stride, geothermal systems are quickly gaining prominence as efficient and attractive choices for projects featuring alternative energy. Although fewer subsidies for geothermal systems are available when compared to solar, the initial investment for the installation of a geothermal system can be lower. This makes a geothermal system’s return on investment (ROI) extremely favorable. It is this financial analysis that may lead to the inclusion of geothermal systems in more building projects as its awareness grows.

How to Install a Dry-Laid Paver Patio

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Tired of eating at the picnic table on the lawn but not interested in maintaining a wood deck? Look to make a lasting impression in your backyard by installing a paver patio. Paver patios are aesthetically pleasing and are relatively low-maintenance. If you hire a contractor, you can expect to pay $15–$20 a square foot, depending on where you live and what type of paver you have selected. If you are able to set aside some time and are willing to perform the work on your own, you could save 40%–60% by doing it yourself. Let's get started!

How to Replace a Prehung Interior Door

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If your interior doors are severely stuck, rubbing, scratched, have holes, damaged beyond repair, or just don’t fit with your style, installing new prehung doors will sharpen the appearance of any room in your home and provide easy, daily operation. Installing a prehung door after removing an existing door isn't as difficult as you might think. With some patience and a little know-how, installing a prehung interior door is a project any DIY'er can do.

Maintenance Tips: Bathroom Exhaust Fans

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Moisture in a bathroom can lead to peeling finishes, warped doors, and even mold. The purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to control moisture and remove airborne odors and pollutants. While maintenance of bathroom exhaust fans is quite often overlooked, a proper maintenance schedule will ensure quiet and efficient operation, increase the fan's lifespan, improve indoor air quality, and keep the unit attractive in appearance.

How to Install a Handheld Shower Fixture

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One of the final steps in completing a custom shower project is selecting and installing the shower fixtures. While the task of selecting a shower fixture from the wide variety of styles can be challenging, installing the fixture is a simple job. With basic plumbing tools and skills, any do-it-yourselfer can install a shower fixture. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a tutorial on installing a handheld shower fixture in the continuation of our custom bathroom series.

Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences

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Your eyes sweep across the panorama. Rolling hills are bursting with colorful wildflowers of vivid orange, yellow, and purple. A Bay Checkerspot butterfly dances by in the flickering light reflected by what looks like a pond but is in fact a skylight of Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences building. Piano worked with Academy scientists and a team of California professionals, including Stantec Architecture from San Francisco, to revitalize the California Academy of Sciences building, located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

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