Page D1 . 03 December 2003       
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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AUSTRIAN ALIEN

Something unexpected has appeared on the bank of the River Mur in Graz, Austria. Between the red brick roofs of neighboring historic buildings, "the friendly alien," as it is locally known, has landed in Austria's second largest city.

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TOTALLY TUBULAR KOOLHAAS

As a commuter train roars into a college campus in Chicago, its noise is suddenly muffled when it enters a stainless steel tunnel that sits atop the new student center. The tube and the building below it are the work of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). The school is the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), still bearing the stamp of its mid-20th century modernist origins.

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SHOPPING JAPANESE STYLE

Despite dips in the economy over the past decade, Japan maintains a strong commitment to urban development. Retail construction appears to flourish. And unlike the boxy shopping centers that blight U.S. suburban and rural landscapes with their featureless design and sprawling parking lots, some recent Japanese developments set examples for combining dynamic design with urban sensibilities.

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