Page D1 . 19 November 2008       
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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CATHEDRAL OF LIGHT

The soaring Cathedral of Christ the Light designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has transformed an old retail and commercial district in Oakland, California, into a vital sacred and civic gathering place.

The all-new 224,000-square-foot (20,800-square-meter) complex for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland brims with amenities, including a public plaza and garden, health clinic, conference center, gift shop, and cafe, as well as clergy living quarters.

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SMALL PACKAGES

One of the principal tactics that underlies the work of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis is the inverting of the value of constraints, by recasting the limitations of a project as the trigger for design invention. By maneuvering imaginatively within operational boundaries, the latent potentials of the project can be teased out of the very restrictions that would seem to weigh it down.

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OSLO OPERA

The new Oslo Opera House is a monumental architectural statement for Norway, providing a glamorous new home for the National Opera and Ballet and a striking public plaza overlooking the Oslofjord.

Instantly shedding opera's snooty, high-art image, the new building by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta slopes down from the roof to the water's edge. The gleaming-white marble threshold between land and water welcomes hundreds of people on a sunny day.

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DESIGNING FABRIC STRUCTURES

The first step in designing a fabric structure is to create a form with sufficient pre-stress, or tension, to prevent it from fluttering like a flag or sail. Lightweight structures with minimal surfaces optimally should have double curvature — a surface that possesses a high-point (positive) curvature along one principal axis and a low-point (negative) curvature along the other principal axis.

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