Quake-hit panda reserve awaits Hong Kong aid – People’s Daily Online

People’s Daily Online reports

“Work to rebuild Sichuan province’s Wolong Nature Reserve, which was destroyed in the massive May 12 earthquake last year, is expected to start later this month after an aid program gets a nod from the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

The epicenter of the 8-magnitude earthquake was just 30 km from Wolong. The disaster left a panda dead and another missing ever since.

The bureau has jointly developed a reconstruction plan with Peking University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing-based Turenscape Company.”

SOURCE: Quake-hit panda reserve awaits Hong Kong aid – People’s Daily Online

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Fire devastates TVCC building in OMA’s CCTV complex in China


A fire started on Tuesday evening (Beijing Time) in the TVCC building of the OMA designed CCTV Complex in Beijing, China.

The TVCC building, adjacent to the iconic CCTV building that opened late last year.

OMA stated on their website “The Office for Metropolitan Architecture has learned that there has been a serious fire at the Television Cultural Centre (TVCC), the building adjacent to the headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV).

The TVCC building was due to open in mid-May and contained a hotel, a theatre and several studios.

As we learn more about this tragedy, we will advise the public further.”

Mandarin Oriental Hotel that was due to open on mid-2009 stated on their website “We
can confirm that the fire at the construction site of Mandarin
Oriental, Beijing, which was scheduled to open in the second half of
2009, has been extinguished. CCTV, the developers of the hotel, has
placed the following statement on their website:
“Beijing Fire Control Bureau says CCTV staff responsible for the
construction of the new TV complex, hired staff to ignite large festive
firecrackers outside the building, and caused the fire. The move did
not receive approval from related authorities. The fire has caused
severe damage. CCTV sincerely apologizes for the damage that the fire
caused, and the inconvenience it has brought to the public.”
All 64 Mandarin Oriental employees, who are located at an offsite
pre-opening office, are safe. It has been confirmed that a fireman has
lost his life and our sympathy is with his family.
We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who has conveyed
their concern about this sad incident.
It is too early at the present stage to assess the full extent of the
damage. We understand that a full investigation is underway and will
take time to complete.
Mandarin Oriental has signed a long term contract to manage the hotel
and has no ownership interest in the building.
Further updates will be issued as appropriate.”

SOURCES: OMA and Mandarin Oriental Hotel


gh3 announced winner of June Callword Park – Canadian Architect – 2/9/2009

gh3 announced as winner of the June Callwood Park international design competition

download the winning entry.

view the design competition report

SOURCE: canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 2/9/2009

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Junkyard Playgrounds – TIME

TIME reports

“U.S. playgrounds with their slick stretches of asphalt, colorful, convoluted slides and free-form sculptures for climbing, are among the world’s safest, cleanest and most indestructible. But are they what children want?”

read the full article @ the SOURCE: Junkyard Playgrounds – TIME

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Britain’s gardens: A private passion and a public disgrace – Telegraph

Juliette Waide in the Telegraph writes

“Hang on to your hollyhocks – someone’s having a go at our gardens. An American academic, if you please, is saying that we are making too much of them; that the energy we put into our own patches is sapping our attention, “holding Britain back” from concentrating on its public spaces.

True, Martha Schwartz, a landscape architect and Harvard professor, is right when she says that all too many public parks are litter-strewn wastelands, about as horticulturally interesting as boxes of paperclips. But for this, blame years of council-budget capping, not the lupins and lilacs we grow at home.”

[SOURCE: Britain’s gardens: A private passion and a public disgrace – Telegraph]

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