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BRIGHT LIGHTS: THE SPS HOUSE

This single-family house with its clear-span interiors, industrial materials, and view of city lights might be mistaken for the work of American architect (and Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice) John Lautner. But the SPS house is in Vienna, a product of the young Austrian firm querkraft architekten. The glazed, pedestal-like building is recessed into a sloping site, with "two boxes and a studio" on the above-ground floor. The architects say about this house: "form is the expression of the program." Next week journalist and architectural researcher Wolfgang Höhl will show us the house and explain how the architects applied an unusual interpretation of the building code to get it built.

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WORLD TRADE CENTER REPLACEMENT PROPOSALS

In early 2002, the Max Protetch Gallery in New York featured the invited work of over 50 architects who provided their ideas for what should be placed in the World Trade Center site. Participants included Steven Holl (pictured), Zaha Hadid, Morphosis, Jakob/MacFarlane, Shigeru Ban, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, and the late Samuel Mockbee. The designs range from specific proposals for memorial structures to abstractions of raw grief. Debate is expected to continue for some time about how — or whether — the site will be rebuilt. In the meantime, New York writer Tess Taylor will show us some of the architects' proposals in the exhibit.

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A NEW LANDMARK IN DESIGN SOFTWARE

Since its early days as MiniCAD, the architectural CAD software VectorWorks has been used by many Macintosh-based architects. Now operating on Windows as well, and owned by the German giant Nemetschek, the software has recently incorporated capabilities for landscape architects as well. VectorWorks Landmark retains the ease of use of its architectural cousin but packs the power needed to handle digital terrain modeling and the very large data sets characteristic of geographical information systems. Next week landscape architecture professor Madis Pihlak will explain why he finds these systems so useful.

 
 
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