Green-roofed Neben development preserves public space in the heart of Gothenburg

by 12:34 PM

In an effort to preserve the public qualities of the Heden area in downtown Gothenburg, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture designed an underground, mixed-use complex that offers a variety of amenities while maintaining the advantages of open spaces. The project will offer open-air cafes, restaurants, work and retail spaces, sporting facilities, greenery, and an underground car park.

The project aims to densify and activate the Heden area expected to become a catalyst for the development of Gothenburg city center. The new functions, nestled underneath a large green roof used for sports, would be interconnected by ramps and walkways.

A 10-meter-high facade will provide sufficient natural lighting and create a connection with the adjacent boulevard with open-air cafes, greenery and pedestrian areas. Workspaces, stores and restaurants would open up along the street, forming a dynamic, car-free environment.

8 Amazing Architects of the Animal Kingdom

by 10:15 AM

Beavers aren't the only animals that build. Check out the other master builders of the animal kingdom, like spiders that curl leaves into shelters, termites that construct colossal (air-conditioned) mounds and birds that build nests large enough for 400 i

Beaver Dam

Yes, beavers are perhaps the most famous animal architects, and rightfully so. They fell huge trees to create dams, which they build to create still ponds where they can construct their winter homes, or lodges. However, what you might not know is that these mammals, in addition to being expert woodworkers, are also skilled at weatherproofing. Each year they prepare for winter by covering their lodge with a fresh coat of mud, which hardens to create a barrier against the cold and predators.

Prairie Dog Towns

Prairie dogs excavate their homes, digging burrows out of the ground. Because prairie dogs live primarily in the Great Plains of North America, which has extreme variations in weather from season to season, their homes are built to withstand extreme temperatures, floods and fires. Chambers located at different depths in the soil serve different purposes. The nursery, for example, is located deep in the soil where the temperature is more stable and young prairie dogs are better protected from predators. In addition, there are chambers close to the surface where adult prairie dogs can shelter from passing predators, and other chambers for storing food or listening for predators. Prairie Dog burrows are grouped into "towns" covering many acres, with five to 35 dogs per acre. But before people moved into prairie dog territory, prairie dog towns were enormous. One town, discovered in Texas in 1900, covered 25,000 square miles and was home to an estimated 400 million prairie dogs.

Rufous Hornero Nest

Most birds' nests are airy structures made of twigs, but not this one. The rufous hornero, a South American bird, builds unusual earthen nests in trees. It collects mud and dung to create a bowl high atop tree limbs. The sun bakes the nest to create a hardened shelter where the birds can lay their eggs. The nest is oriented to face away from the prevailing winds too, creating a refuge from the weather.


Leaf Curling Spider

Lots of spiders make webs, of course, but the Australian leaf-curling spider (Phonognatha graeffei) uses recycled material to build an addition to its home. It chooses a nice dead leaf and lines the leaf with silk, curling it to form a cozy retreat that's closed at the top and open at the bottom. These spiders hang their creation in the center of a web and shelter there as they wait for passing prey. When reproducing, the female builds another curled leaf to be her nursery, which she hangs at some distance from the web nestled in nearby foliage. In some cases, these spiders have been known to use discarded scraps of paper or other lightweight material to create their shelters.

Cathedral Termite Mounds

Termites are master builders. Their iconic mounds can reach 10 feet or more in height—in fact, the one pictured is approximately 16 feet tall. Constructed from the chewed remnants of woody trees, mud and feces, these animal skyscrapers provide all sorts of creature comforts for the termite colony: Excellent air circulation allows for the mound to be kept air-conditioned, water collects as condensation, and some colonies maintain gardens of fungi within the mound.

Montezuma Oropendola Nests

The birds known as Montezuma oropendola build elaborate hanging nests in trees in Central America. They use vines to weave the pendulous baskets, grouping the nests together into colonies. They anchor the nests with the strongest vines, adding other vines and fibers bit by bit until the nests are completed. These tropical subdivisions are often located in large, isolated trees, with the nests hanging from the flimsy far end of the branches—that discourages raiding monkeys from trying to climb out to devour the precious eggs. Montezuma oropendolas also have another way to keep predators at bay: They like to build in trees where hornets live.

Sociable Weaver Nest

The sociable weaver builds a nest that looks from a distance like a giant haystack that's fallen into a tree. But these African birds are expert architects, using a variety of different materials to create their lofted apartment block. They use larger sticks to create the basic structure, framing the nest atop their preferred foundation—a utility pole or a tree with high branches. Instead of drywall, they gather dry grasses to form the boundaries of the individual rooms, and line each chamber of the nest with softer grasses and fibers. There can be hundreds of nesting chambers in the larger nest structure, enough to accommodate the entire colony of birds. The largest nests are home to up to 400 birds. Sociable weavers also install a security system; sharp straw spikes line each entrance to keep away predators. They need them: Other birds, including birds of prey, will take advantage of the sociable weaver's building skills and construct their nests on top of the structure.

Ants rank

Ants rank with beavers as some of the best-known architects of the animal world. Ants build the elaborate colony structure by hollowing out the area with their mandibles, grain by grain. Unless the soil dries out dramatically, the chambers will keep their form. But how ants manage to construct such well-planned underground structures remains a mystery, according to ant expert Walter Tschinkel of Florida State University.

Education: Drawing studios

by 7:38 AM

Education: Drawing studios


Departments in further and higher education are now usually grouped in larger units (e.g. faculties) so that resources can be shared with related disciplines. The layout of any studio is conditioned by type of work being undertaken and type of supervision required. A selection from the following specialist facilities is a likely requirement:
   Drawing and painting: fine art.
   Graphic design
   Ceramics; sculpture.
   Media studies: video and film.
   Industrial design: engineering.
   Furniture and interior design.
   Theatre and television design.
   Silver and jewellery: metalworking
   Textile design, both print and weave w stained glass. (See also sections on Schools, Cinemas, Theatres, and Laboratories. Music and drama facilities are not considered here.)

Schedule of accommodation Will generally include:
   Design studio and display areas.
   Technical workshop(s).
   Admin office.

Drawing studios

Space requirements are related to the type of drawing and allied work, if any, to be undertaken (see 1).

Workstation Sizes are largely determined by the equipment needed to accommodate the drawing format, based on the 'A' series of international paper sizes (smaller formats being obtained by halving larger dimensions in sequence see the Drawing Practice and Presentation section). For most industrial, engineering and design consultants, drawing requirements can be accommodated by A1 format; the larger A0 size is rarely required. Note that computer-aided design and drafting is regarded as complementary to traditional drawing skills, which should be taught first.

The simplest form of workstation is: drawing board, equipment trolley (cart) and draughtsman's chair; where drafting work requires reference to details contained on other drawings, either reference tables or vertical screens may be required. Screens have the advantage of keeping the necessary floor area to the minimum, but make group teaching more difficult.

Reference tables, which may also provide plan chest drawing storage below the work surface, should either be to the side of the draughtsman in parallel with the drawing board or at right angles to it (see 9). A further possibility is available with 'back reference', where the reference table also provides support for the drawing board behind. Where the drafting function has to be combined with administration work, the reference area may double as an office desk or the desk may form separate unit.

Referencing may not be confined to information contained on drawings; it is often necessary to have a comprehensive set of reference books or manuals close at hand for draughtsmen.

Setting-out studios A further category of drawing studio is that allied to workshops, where full-size setting-out drawings (or workshop 'rods') are prepared. These are usually found in the construction industry, and joinery shops in particular. Such drawings are prepared on rolls of paper set down at long benches.

Draughtsmen work standing up at the drafting surface, which is horizontal and 900 mm high. Rather than the sheets used in other studios, these original drawings are stored in roll form, for which housing may be either horizontal (plan chests with drawers) or vertical (plan file cabinets).

1- Various planning arrangements

Education: Workshop

by 7:24 AM
Education: Workshop


Departments in further and higher education are now usually grouped in larger units (e.g. faculties) so that resources can be shared with related disciplines. The layout of any studio is conditioned by type of work being undertaken and type of supervision required. A selection from the following specialist facilities is a likely requirement:
   Drawing and painting: fine art.
   Graphic design
   Ceramics; sculpture.
   Media studies: video and film.
   Industrial design: engineering.
   Furniture and interior design.
   Theatre and television design.
   Silver and jewellery: metalworking
   Textile design, both print and weave w stained glass. (See also sections on Schools, Cinemas, Theatres, and Laboratories. Music and drama facilities are not considered here.)

Schedule of accommodation Will generally include:
   Design studio and display areas.
   Technical workshop(s).
   Admin office.




This will depend on type of work being done. Light work associated with graphics, silver and jewellery, photography and fashion may be placed on a higher floor; metal, wood and plastics workshops, where large machines may be installed, are best sited on ground or basement levels.

Good workshop layout must conform to work flow and safety (see 1). Provide ample space round machines and for gangways to allow necessary movement without incursion on workspace. Non-slip floor finishes should be specified. A workshop technician should be able to survey the whole area from a partially glazed office.

If each student is provided with sets of tools, space for individual lockers is needed in the workshop area.

For details of equipment, see ‘Workshop Equipment Spaces’ in the Industrial Buildings section.

1- Layout for combined wood and metal shop

Health and safety

This is particularly important where machinery is in use - e.g. wood and metalworking (see 2,3) - or in darkrooms etc. where chemicals are used. Protective clothing, goggles etc. must be available in sufficient numbers and safety procedures must be clearly displayed.

2- Clearances for layouts of metal shops 
3- Working spoces round woodwork mochinery 

Ancillary accommodation

This will include offices for teaching staff, common room (consider for both staff and students), toilets and possibly showers.

Ancillary areas may include printing and reprographic equipment, either housed in a studio or, if sophisticated or large scale, sited in a separate area. Computer-aided design and drafting equipment is usually located in separate computer areas, use being shared with other disciplines.

4- Various forms of storage racking
5- Arts centre layout for college

Methods of storing a wide range of goods and materials are needed. Areas are required for storing completed works before exhibition or disposal. Some items may be very fragile and/or valuable, and additional security may be required.

All storage should be sited next to the appropriate workshop and satisfy requirements for specific heat and humidity conditions where required for specialised materials being stored (e.g. clay, plaster). External access must be convenient for goods vehicles.

Special racking is needed for paintings and large canvasses, timber and timber-based board materials, plastics sheets, metal sections, rolls of textiles, glass and paper (see 4).

Correct archive storage for original drawings, models or other artefacts, which may have to be kept for indefinite periods, must be properly conditioned, and the structure must be fire and flood proof.

6- Sequence of operation: clay modelling and pottery

Education: Design studios

by 7:01 AM

Education: Design studios


Departments in further and higher education are now usually grouped in larger units (e.g. faculties) so that resources can be shared with related disciplines. The layout of any studio is conditioned by type of work being undertaken and type of supervision required. A selection from the following specialist facilities is a likely requirement:
   Drawing and painting: fine art.
   Graphic design
   Ceramics; sculpture.
   Media studies: video and film.
   Industrial design: engineering.
   Furniture and interior design.
   Theatre and television design.
   Silver and jewellery: metalworking
   Textile design, both print and weave w stained glass. (See also sections on Schools, Cinemas, Theatres, and Laboratories. Music and drama facilities are not considered here.)

Schedule of accommodation Will generally include:
   Design studio and display areas.
   Technical workshop(s).
   Admin office.

Design studios

General requirements

These should be next to appropriate workrooms or workshops and the exclusion of noise and dust should be considered. Storage is needed for large drawings, models, reference books and clothes/protective equipment; lockers should be included, together with equipment for copying drawings and documents, although the latter may be centralised.

Good lighting is essential, both natural and artificial. Rooflights may provide ancillary light; all windows should be fitted with some form of daylight control (e.g. blinds) to prevent glare and possible damage to materials or colours. All surfaces should be durable and easy to clean.

Display space

Traditionally in the studio area, nowadays this space can be varied to include lecture theatres, halls, corridors and entry areas. Note that some specialist display areas will still be required (eg for models, which are often fragile, or film and video, which require low light levels or blackout facilities and additional power supplies etc.).

Fine art studios

Studios for painting and sculpture require large areas. They must have good natural daylight, with high-level windows equal to at least 25-33% of the floor area, and with north or east aspect.

2 Gardner Centre for the Arts, University of Sussex (Arch: John S Bonnington Partnership, formerly Sir Basil Spence Bonnington & Collins)

1 entrance; 2 seminor rooms; 3 WC(M); 4 WC(F); 5 boiler roam; 6 plant roam; 7 lift; 8 graphic design studio; 9 WC(dis); 10 interior design studio; 1 1 librav; 12 staff room; 13 terrace
Design studios, Surrey Institute of Art and Design,
Farnham, Surrey (Arch: Nick Evans Architects) 

Secondary school (Staff accommodation, Timetabled teaching areas, Practical spaces, Information technology)

by 6:11 AM

Secondary school

Staff accommodation

In a typical secondary school today, staff accommodation will include offices for senior teaching staff, some small, local departmental staff work rooms and a central staff room providing work space for the remaining staff and a social area for all teaching staff who wish to use it. The main staff room should preferably be secluded from noisier parts of the school, but centrally located. 

Timetabled teaching areas 

The secondary school curriculum is normally taught in distinct subjects, using a variety of timetabled teaching rooms which tend to be used predominantly for one subject. Almost half the subjects taught in secondary schools are ‘general teaching’, normally only requiring standard classrooms. These subjects include English, mathematics, modern foreign languages (MFL), humanities (history and geography), religious education, personal and social education (PSE) and general studies.

The remainder usually require specialist spaces  which are less likely to be interchangeable, although art and graphics or music and drama may share spaces. IT rooms will be required as a timetabled and bookable resource for most subjects, particularly business studies, GNVQ, MFL, humanities and design and technology. 
1- Bubble diagram showing possible arrangement of spaces and activities in an 11-16 (11-18) secondary school (design and technology includes multi-materials, pneumatics, electronic and control technology (PECT), textiles, food and graphics) 

Size, shape and layout The size, shape and layout of individual teaching rooms should provide a space which has the flexibility to accommodate a broad range of activities. Keeping fixed furniture and equipment to the perimeter and loose furniture to the centre is recommended.

A space which is too narrow may restrict the range of activities and the possible furniture layouts (see pp 40-41), particularly in practical spaces where there may be large items of equipment with minimum space requirements between them (BB81, Appendix 1).

Good sight-lines are essential and a variety of furniture and equipment will need to fit in the room. The likely required sizes of each room type will depend on the activities accommodated and the maximum group size. Ranges are given in BB82. The size of spaces will also be affected by the extent to which storage and resources such as IT are within the room-or in shared areas nearby. Ideally, all teaching spaces should be serviced for the use of computers and audio-visual teaching aids.

2- Typical schedule of spaces for an 1 1-1 6 secondary school 

General teaching classrooms These accom- modate a range of activities which include whole- class teaching and small group discussion, reading, writing, role-playing, and can include the use of computers and audio-visual equipment. There may also be some other activities, such as model making (e.g. in geography or mathematics) so it is therefore desirable to provide one large classroom for every four or five of ‘standard’ size. General teaching rooms tend to be used for more than one subject to allow a high frequency of use (90%), although they are likely to be used primarily for a single subject so that display and storage can be relevant. 

Untimetabled supplementary teaching areas These may be required in suites of general teaching accommodation: for instance, a room for use by a foreign language assistant to work with small groups or for careers advice. Small clusters of computers may be in a shared area rather than in the class. 

Practical spaces

Practically based subjects require a range of specialist teaching spaces. These include science, design and technology, art, music, drama and PE. Business studies and vocational courses, such as GNVQs may benefit from access to practical rooms, and will need ready access to information communications technology (ICT).

Science Generally, science needs to be taught in laboratories, equipped with sinks, gas taps and suitable worktops (see BB80). Central preparation rooms serving a number of general laboratories are economic and offer flexibility.

Design and technology This requires a variety of specialist spaces, depending on the course chosen (see BB81). They are likely to be used at a lower frequency level (7040%) than other spaces as, for instance, food-related courses cannot be taught in a workshop. The range of timetabled spaces will include:
Multi-materials workshops for designing and making in various ‘resistant’ materials such as wood, metal and plastic
Pneumatics, electronics and control technology (PECT) areas, including lighter technologies and perhaps CAD-CAM machines
Textiles, as taught in technology, including sewing machines, knitting machines and fabric testing equipment
Food room, including sinks, cookers, fridge/freezer and other kitchen equipment, with suitable worktops and hygienic finishes for preparing food
A graphics room, which may be included in the suite if the curriculum demands it.

As in any other subjects, ICT will’ need to be accessed. Untimetabled areas may include a heat- treatment bay, usually part of a workshop, and a sixth form project area.

Art Specialist spaces are required to accommodate activities such as drawing, painting, ‘wet textiles’ (screen printing and batik) or 3D work (sculpture, pottery, construction). Each room is likely to reflect a particular range of specialist activities (see BB89).

Music A music classroom is needed, and perhaps a larger recital room (see BB86). Untimetabled spaces will include around four small group/practice rooms for every music room (for peripatetic teaching and small group work). A recording studio or control room can also be useful.

Drama Although it can be taught in a large classroom or in a shared music room, this is best accommodated in a drama studio. Performances will require a larger area, or use of the main assembly hall, with appropriate stage lighting and blackout facilities. Fire exits and emergency lighting should be sufficient for evening performances to the public. 

PE Physical education requires a gymnasium and a sports hall, as well as various outdoor facilities, including hard courts and grassed pitches (discussed earlier). Although a sports hall is usually more than twice the size of a gymnasium, it is unlikely that it will be timetabled for two groups for more than half the time available. If the sports hall is to be used for competitions or public use, Sports Council recommended dimensions should be used, adding further area (see the Sports Facilities section).

Information technology

The use of information technology (IT) in schools has increased significantly in recent years. Government IT initiatives (such as the National Grid for Learning), combined with the falling cost of equipment, mean that this trend is likely to continue and even accelerate in the future. This has emphasised the need for careful planning and flexibility to cope with future advances. If computers are to be networked across the school, a safe and secure area (an IT technician’s room) will be needed to house the network file server(s).

IT facilities may be available in each classroom or equipment may be located in dedicated IT areas, but, more commonly, secondary schools have a mixture of IT resource areas - smaller departmental clusters and individual machines in certain classrooms. Any local untimetabled IT resource areas should be positioned centrally to the area they serve and should be accessible, but secure at all times. Internal glazing allows easy supervision from adjacent spaces.

Environmental conditions Glare and reflections on screens are the most common lighting problems in IT areas. For the best lighting conditions, blinds may be needed to control daylight and direct sunlight, and reflective surfaces should be avoided on the floor, walls and furniture. Computers should be placed with monitors at right angles to the windows and parallel to the light fittings. North- facing rooms will normally provide the best environmental conditions for IT use. A room full of computers and pupils can also give off a lot of heat, which should be controlled naturally. When in use the temperature in an IT room should ideally be between 18°C and 24”C, with humidity between 40% and 60%.

Room size and furniture layout (See 3) Pupils must have space to work comfortably at the workstation. There should be at least 850mm of clear space in front of the computer table (1200mm between back-to-back tables). Several pupils should be able to gather around at least one machine or be able to see a large monitor, for demonstrations. The arrangement of computers in a room will affect the activities that can be carried out. At each IT workstation a pupil should be able to sit so that their eye-line is level with the top of the monitor. The ideal dimensions of furniture for different age groups are listed in the A&B leaflet Making IT Fit (1995). In most secondary schools, one size of table is used by the entire age range but using adjustable chairs allows each pupil to individually adjust their position to the correct eye level. A useful size for a standard work surface is 750xl500mm because it enables two children to work comfortably together.

3- Generic layout of an IT room for 28 pupils 

A ‘perimeter’ arrangement allows pupils to work at computers, with power taken straight off the perimeter trunking, or at tables in the middle of the room. However, glare and reflections can cause problems if the computer screens are parallel to the windows. The ‘peninsular’ layout (see 26) allows the centre of the room to be used more effectively, and can give more space next to each computer for written work. Services are channelled through the furniture from perimeter outlets. There are fewer problems with glare as all the computers are positioned at right angles to the windows. An ‘island’ layout is good for group work and can also give a less formal feel but it can be inflexible if the service outlets or furniture are fixed.

POST- 1 6

An increasing number of 16- to 19-year-olds are continuing to study at school. Sixth form courses are usually predominantly general teaching subjects, with business studies or similar GNVQs and sciences as the main specialist subjects. Other vocational subjects, art, music and other practical courses may also be taught, but these are likely to be in small groups, generally occupying existing (and otherwise under-utilised) practical spaces. Around 20-30% of a sixth former’s school time will be spent in private or self-supported study. Depending on the school and student, this may be done in a study area, the library, social areas, IT spaces, at home or in specialist spaces such as art studios, where a sixth form project area may be available for untimetabled work and long-term work or experiments. Extra area for sixth forms in schools (which can be added to the schedule of spaces for an 11-16 school (see 2) mav therefore include:
       General teaching rooms (generally smaller than standard classrooms, to suit the smaller group sizes) business studies/GNVQ room(s).
       IT rooms and IT clusters for smaller groups science laboratories (suitable for specialist study of chemistry, biology and physics).
       Practical areas for vocational courses, such as engineering, if necessary.
       Specialist supplementary teaching areas, such as a dark room or project areas for art or design and technology.
       Self-study area and/or extra library resource area to accommodate around 25% of the sixth form at any one time.
       Common room/social area, comfortably accommo- dating about 25% of the sixth form non-teaching areas, such as head of sixth form’s office, toilets, extra catering facilities and stores.

In some cases general teaching, business/GNVQ, IT and science rooms may be used-by all age groups.-The common room, study area and library resource may be linked or separate, depending on the school, to offer shared resources but a choice of quiet or more lively working areas. Sixth form groups are tending to increase in size, so science labs and IT rooms are likely to be the same size as those for 11-16 pupils, but with a larger work area per pupil.

Middle schools (General teaching areas, Specialist spaces)

by 5:12 AM

Middle schools

Schools for the 8-12 and 9-13 agemranges were popular during the 1970s but since the introduction of the National Curriculum new middle schools are extremely rare. They are intended to extend the teaching methods and atmosphere of primary schools, while practical activities are backed by more sophisticated equipment and specialised spaces, as might be found in secondary schools. Eleven- and 12-year-olds in middle schools are taught the same curriculum as their contemporaries in secondary schools.

As middle schools accommodate work at both KS2 and KS3, the gross area range is determined by a proportion that reflects an allowance for the number of pupils in each Key Stage. Thus, a school for 9- to 13-year-olds is likely to be larger than one for the same number of 8- to 12-year-olds.

1 Bubble diagram showing a possible arrangement of spaces and activities in a 2FE 8-1 2 or 9-1 3 middle school 

General teaching areas 

The usual format for middle schools is a number of class bases with shared practical areas and/or specialist rooms. In 8-12 schools the mix of spaces is generally akin to that found in primary schools, whereas 9-13 schools are more like secondary schools. Much of the general, class-based work of the 8-12 curriculum can take place in self-contained classrooms, with access to water and some space for practical and investigation work, and pairs of semi- open bases, sharing a small enclosed group room. However, the 9-13 curriculum requires greater use of specialised rooms for certain subjects (science, design and technology, art) which may be used solely by older pupils or may be shared by the whole school. 

Specialist spaces 

The school hall will not always be appropriate or available for music, so ideally a smaller, acoustically isolated space should be provided which has an uncommitted floor space. Design and technology (and sometimes 3D art) work tends to produce dust and/or noise and should also be isolated from other activities. A workshop space for older pupils should be laid out for work in wood, metal and plastics but may have a less sophisticated range of equipment than in secondary schools. Adequate storage and secure preparation space will be needed near the design and technology space. 

One approach to specialist areas for 8-12 middle schools is the provision of ‘nucleus’ areas, which can be closed off when not needed, adjacent to general teaching spaces. For example, for pupils up to the age of 12, many science activities are compatible with the use of general teaching areas but there are times when the work of the older children involves simple chemical experiments which need a laboratory setting. A nucleus area with gas, electricity and laboratory sinks could provide suitable facilities for a small group of pupils to experiment at one time.

This nucleus area should open into a work room for a class group, equipped with extra power points, a large sink and tables and worktops suitable for science but capable of flexible arrangement for other work. Separate storage and serviced science trolleys for demonstration should be provided to enable science to be taught anywhere in the school. In 9-13 schools a fully equipped laboratory and associated preparation room, as might be found in a secondary school, is required for older pupils to undertake practical science experiments.

Provision for learning to prepare and cook food in each type of middle school should follow similar lines to that for science, described above, with a nucleus area in 8-12 middle schools and a fully equipped food room in 9-13 schools.

Layouts of the work tables and equipment to be used in the specialist provision (whether nucleus areas or rooms) for music, design and technology, food and science are the best indicators of the space required (see ‘Furniture and equipment’ above).
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