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  • Arts and Crafts Architecture - 01
    Arts and Crafts Architecture

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    ASMUSSEN'S CULTURE HOUSE

    Austrian-born artist and scientist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) developed the "spiritual science" of anthroposophy — "a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual element in the human being to the spiritual in the universe." He saw all natural phenomena as interconnected spiritually and dependent on the larger whole. To explore the integrative and holistic ideals of anthroposophy, Swedish architect Erik Asmussen built the Rudolf Steiner Seminary, at Järna, Sweden. Its social and cultural focus is the Culture House (completed in 1992), an expression of art, craft, spirituality, and functionality. — Editor — Published 2006.0301

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    POSTCARD FROM PORTO-NOVO

    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin in West Africa, is searching for its lost identity as development presents conflicts between historic preservation and a quest for modernism. The city's urban heritage includes vernacular and colonial, but the most interesting buildings, according to Gérard Tognimassou, a teacher from the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain, a school for the preservation of the African cultural heritage, are those that reveal "a great craftsmanship in the fusion between the Brazilian and the African styles." — Published 2005.0907

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    ROOTS AND BRANCHES

    Located in a quiet neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, yet near the busy Capitol Highway which connects downtown with its western suburbs, Hillsdale Branch Library occupies a transitional point between single-family homes to the north and a series of commercial buildings to the south. — Published 2005.0817

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    WOOD DESIGN AWARDS 2005

    Well crafted wood in buildings is sometimes a conversation piece, but perhaps seldom as explicitly as in three projects recently selected to receive honors from the 2005 Wood Design Awards program. A chapel, a temporary show installation, and a house all make contributions to a conversation about what it means to design with wood. — Published 2005.0810

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    ICELANDIC CLARIFICATIONS

    Unlike most of Europe, Iceland has no stained-glass tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Windows were imported until the 20th century. Against this backdrop, in April 2005, artists, curators, critics, and scholars from 14 countries gathered at Kópavogur for Iceland 2005: Architectural Glass Conference.

    Hosted by the Kópavogur Art Museum, participants enjoyed a comprehensive overview of the extraordinary developments in architectural glass art since the 1950s and speculated about the future of the art form. — Published 2005.0622

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    TADAO ANDO UIA GOLD MEDAL

    The International Union of Architects (UIA) has announced that the distinguished Japanese architect Tadao Ando will receive the UIA 2005 Gold Medal. This prestigious honor is awarded to living architects for contributions made throughout their careers in service to humanity, society, and the promotion of the art of architecture. — Published 2005.0608

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    TIMELY WATCHWORKS

    If "Swiss clock maker" conjures an image of quaint craftsmanship conducted in gingerbread workshops, think again. The oldest active watch making firm in the world, Vacheron Constantin, recently celebrated the opening of a new headquarters building that looks as sleek and trim as any 21st-century timekeeping technology. — Published 2005.0209

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    SMALL WOODWORKING SHOPS

    There is no perfect workshop. Any image conjured up by one woodworker would probably be less than ideal for the next. There are, however, many wonderful shops. Contemporary American woodworkers share a common cultural heritage with a nation of resourceful settlers who made do with what could be patched together. — Published 2004.0623

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    SIOUX CITY ORPHEUM RESTORATION

    The Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa was once a grand vaudeville and movie palace. Designed by the famous Chicago architects Rapp and Rapp, it opened in 1927 and boasted spectacular chandeliers, a gold leaf covered dome, and the grandest of lobbies.

    Over the decades, the theater suffered numerous insensitive remodels but has recently returned spectacularly to life thanks to a dedicated team of restoration expert and craftspeople. — Published 2003.1203

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    SOUTH ATLANTIC AIA DESIGN AWARDS

    The South Atlantic Region (SAR) of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced in September 2003 the winners of its annual design awards program. Despite the record 231 entries received, four of the five architecture awards went to a single firm, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, Georgia. — Published 2003.1112

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    Arts and Crafts Architecture

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