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FINDING THE SPIRIT OF NATURE IN WOOD

The Finnish Wood in Culture Association has announced the 2002 winner of the international Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award. The work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, according to the awards jury, is "characterized by a refined use of wood and a profound understanding of the nature of wood as a building material. He has successfully combined new and traditional elements to produce architecture that is completely modern while still being sensitively and carefully adjusted to its existing surroundings." Next week we'll look at Kuma's work and the philosophy it embodies.

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GREEN BUILDING: MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE

One of the questions most commonly asked by people interested in using sustainable building materials for their construction projects is: "Where can I find them?" To help answer this and other questions related to green building for residents of Marin County, California, the county's Community Development Agency commissioned a green-building educational display to be set up next to the building permit offices. The primary objective of the displays is to educate builders, architects, and homeowners about sustainable building practices and environmentally friendly building materials. Andrés Edwards will explain what's in them and why they have become so popular.

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RETHINKING STEEL FRAMING

In steel structures, frames have become a full part of the language of architectural design. Assemblies in steel, ranging from small lattice trusses to cable-stayed structures that resemble a "kits of parts," have led to their widespread use as highly visible structures. A future for structural elements will be in their application to "thin" and "layered" building envelopes. A current development in thin external walls is the use of panels that integrate structural support, enclosure, and the building's environmental control system. Next week Andrew Watts will describe work in Japan to design systems that minimize the steel needed in such structures.

 
 
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