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Pritzker Prize Worthy: SANAA's Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art

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By now you have probably heard that Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Japanese architectural firm SANAA, have been awarded the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Renowned for their elegant compositions that emphasize transparency and lightness through explorations in material minimalism, Sejima and Nishizawa have emerged with an impressive body of work that includes the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. Inspired by the news of the Pritzker award, I scheduled a trip to see the Glass Pavilion so that I could experience the qualities of design that prompted such an honor.

Decking 101

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Decking 101 is our quick guide to popular deck materials (like wood, composite and cellular PVC, and aluminum), installation, cost, and maintenance tips.

Barcelona’s Santa Caterina Market

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This renovation of a market in Spain preserved more than just a historic building. Restoring the Santa Caterina Market's prominence as a commercial venue has helped to preserve a traditional way of life.

Very few countries are better than Spain at taking the old and transforming it into the new. Currently, this trend has found a new focus – the neighborhood market. Before the chain supermarkets or giant shopping centers began to eat up every available space in town, every neighborhood had its local market. These old (and usually somewhat decrepit) markets have suffered years of neglect and seen hard economic times for private vendors. Now these almost abandoned markets are ripe for the picking, and architects and designers alike are vying for a chance to get their hands on the vast open space that is typical of these buildings.

Keeping up with Toronto’s Evolving Architectural Identity

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On the southeastern tail of Ontario, the 175-year-young city of Toronto is home to 2.5 million Canadians, making it the largest city in the country. Rodolphe el-Khoury, an architecture professor at the University of Toronto, said in a 2008 interview that he noticed an underlying rural tone in Toronto's architectural identity. “It’s a kind of tension between a cosmopolitan international culture and a more Ontario-based kind of heritage,” described el-Khoury. What Toronto is known for is its skyscrapers – it is second only to New York as having the most in North America. Along with the skyscrapers, progressive-minded young people who champion environmental friendliness inhabit downtown Toronto.

Art Deco in Cincinnati: Union Terminal and Carew Tower

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A tale of two buildings, and an Art Deco heritage that almost didn’t happen in Cincinnati.

If you were to glance at an original 1929 sketch of Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture and one of the last great train stations built in America, you’d be confused. That’s because the building was originally envisioned as neoclassical. “The sketches were almost gothic looking, and the design was thought to be cold,” says Scott Gampfer, director of the library and historic collections at the Cincinnati Museum Center. “The Cincinnati Union Terminal Company and the Cincinnati Public Works Department were not entirely satisfied with the look that was presented. They wanted to project the idea of modernity,” he says.

How to Refinish a Wood Deck

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Refinishing your wood deck every few years is necessary maintenance. Learn when and how.

When is it time to refinish your wood deck? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Use the “splash test” to see if your wood deck needs attention. Take a glass of water and splash it on the most heavily traveled areas. If the water beads up and sits on top of the wood, then refinishing is not required. If the water soaks in and darkens the wood, then it’s time to get on that deck maintenance before any serious damage is done. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he demonstrates how to refinish a wood deck.

DIY Medicine Cabinet

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Sometimes it is the materials that inspire the project. Here Rachael Ranney, host of {Re}habitat, finds the perfect use for a long-cherished wooden picture frame.

Part of the charm and allure of DIY design is that you can rely on your own creativity and intuition to transform items you already own into unique décor and furniture for your home. These pieces are the ones that truly reflect your personal style, and you can usually save a little cash by constructing them yourself at home versus buying everything prebuilt.

How to Install a Toilet

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Many puns have been applied to toilet replacement and installation, but in reality replacing or installing a toilet is a pretty simple home improvement project for a do-it-yourselfer. The workings of a toilet are contained within the fixture itself, so the installation comes down to making a couple of plumbing connections, one for the water supply and one for the waste drain. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a video guide through the process of installing a toilet.

How to Install a GFCI Outlet

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What kind of electrical receptacle should you install in the kitchen or bath? The answer is a GFCI outlet, or a ground fault circuit interrupt outlet. A GFCI (or GFI) outlet should be installed in any place where electricity might come in contact with water; such as a kitchen, a bathroom, a laundry room, garage, or exterior space. Basically, a GFCI outlet will sense when electricity is going to pass through a person’s body and it will shut off before the shock is delivered. Installing this type of outlet is only slightly more complex than installing a standard three-pronged receptacle. Join the At Home channel’s host, Jeff Wilson, for a tutorial on how to install a GFCI electrical outlet.

Upcycled Coat Racks

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Find out, step by step, how to create two very different DIY coat racks using both natural and recycled materials. Watch {Re}habitat, Rachael Ranney’s online video series, to learn how adaptive reuse can add fun and function to your space.

I am constantly looking for ways to create new and inexpensive storage for my small home. Throughout the winter and spring months here in the Midwest, my house is always cluttered with a flurry of coats, gloves, and other cold weather gear. Installing a coat rack near your front door will add storage capacity to your entryway and can help you to clear up some of the chaos.

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