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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.

Innovative Infrastructure: Smart Bridges

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There are over 600,000 bridges in the United States and almost 13% have some sort of structural damage. Most bridges still require field methods to assess this damage, including visual inspection, dye penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, and ultrasonic techniques. These field methods can miss structural problems or fail to catch them in time to prevent a catastrophe. In the case of the Minneapolis steel truss bridge that collapsed in 2007, resulting in 13 lives lost, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that 16 of the gusset plates that connected the trusses failed. Smart bridge technologies are being implemented in the redesign, providing more efficient and real-time monitoring and inspection.

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.

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.

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.

How To Install Door Casing

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Install new casement trim around your front door to increase energy efficiency and to amp up curb appeal. Here's how.

Now that you’ve installed a new front door, your home radiates curb appeal. We have one more project to complete the new look – door casing. With the right tools and a little know-how, installing door casing is a job any DIYer can accomplish. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a quick lesson on how to install simple casement trim around a new front door.

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.

Capital Gate: Abu Dhabi's Leaning Tower

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Look out, Pisa, there is a new building on the block! Capital Gate, located in Abu Dhabi, now holds the Guinness Record for the "Worlds Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower." Scheduled for completion in late 2010, this 35 story building with an incline of 18 degrees is the focal point of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company's (ADNEC) new mixed use development.

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.

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.

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