Page D1 . 09 February 2005       
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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NEIGHBORLY MOD

The Ebeling House in Dortmund, Germany makes a direct challenge to conventional expectations and local taste, and it is equally bold in its reference to modernist minimalism. Is this boldness hostile, or friendly? Does it reward analysis? Does it make a humane place for living?

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PSYCHOLOGICALLY ACCESSIBLE

Any visit to a hospital or clinic can seem frightening, all the more so for children afflicted with autism. The slightest distraction, even something as seemingly benign as a water fountain or a beam of sunlight, can trigger a "meltdown," in which autistic patients are overcome with anxiety.

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MIXED SMOKE SIGNALS

Washington D.C. has long been a conservative city for architecture, at least since Pierre L'Enfant laid out the city in 1791. As decreed by the McMillan Plan of the early 1900s, buildings could be no taller than the U.S. Capitol dome. This has resulted in a low-scale skyline that some find retrograde for a world capital.

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