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(Medium)   Fartchitecture (whatever that's supposed to be) is ruining your neighborhood   (medium.com) divider line
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1974 clicks; posted to STEM » on 21 Nov 2020 at 7:53 PM (10 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-11-21 5:21:06 PM  
I had to spend a month in Beaverton (in the blazing hot summer to boot) a couple of years ago, and one of these was going up across the street from the residential motel we were staying at.  It was soulless and unpleasant to say the least.

In the late 60sand early 70s something similar was happening the Bay Area.   A smart ass friend who was a designer/interior decorator, when I told him about some of the houses designs, said, "Oh you mean Early California Mineshaft"...
 
2020-11-21 5:27:01 PM  
We're through building beautiful things, for the most part.  They just don't make sense financially.
 
2020-11-21 5:45:58 PM  
I thought this was gonna be about lawn butts.
external-content.duckduckgo.comView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 5:53:40 PM  
Meh. Housing needs to go up and I'm not going to get too precious about it. My house is a tract house (remember ticky tacky little houses) except not that nice, built in 1947 (post-WW II). Instead of criticizing, how about proposing the solution to building fast, cheap, and good? Rising housing prices are great for me, I got mine, but we need to increase demand radically to keep housing prices affordable.
 
2020-11-21 6:13:10 PM  
So he's basically complaining that many city buildings are not 'interesting' enough for his taste. But I would suggest people care a lot more about interiors, and are unwilling to pay more for a facade over and above functionality.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2020-11-21 6:33:35 PM  
This type of development is invading your neighborhood.

My neighborhood is rural residential and has big lot sizes that can't be filled to the brim with ugly boxes. There's a vacant lot for sale near me. I have every confidence in the ability of its developer to design a gaudy eyesore, but it will not be a cube.

A neighbor told me the area I live in was once subject to a deed restriction banning colonial style houses. I didn't research because the restriction was said to be expired and I wouldn't build a colonial anyway if I had to replace my house.
 
2020-11-21 6:39:40 PM  
Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me. I don't find that stuff that bad partly because I don't see it here in the US. Maybe somebody's overrun with it but I haven't seen it in the places I spend a lot of time.
 
2020-11-21 7:03:05 PM  

LadySusan: Meh. Housing needs to go up and I'm not going to get too precious about it. My house is a tract house (remember ticky tacky little houses) except not that nice, built in 1947 (post-WW II). Instead of criticizing, how about proposing the solution to building fast, cheap, and good? Rising housing prices are great for me, I got mine, but we need to increase demand radically to keep housing prices affordable.


Thing is, you can change it if you choose, to...remodel the exterior.   My house was built in 1904.   We have spent a couple of decades "restoring" the exterior as much as possible.   If you have to live in one of these structures, that is something you simply can't do.

What gave me great alarm was that they were building 7 story structures out of wood, to save money (not steel and concrete.   My earthquake (and fire) hairs on the back of my neck were rising at the thought of it.
 
2020-11-21 7:27:33 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 7:42:22 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 8:13:53 PM  
"Steal and concrete"?
 
2020-11-21 8:23:06 PM  

FatherDale: "Steal and concrete"?


Take a peak at my steal building.
 
2020-11-21 8:24:31 PM  

edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.


The blogger says the building's in LA. But he also doesn't know how to spell "peek" or "steel", so, whatever.

And regarding the bit he wrote about "steal":
Have you noticed that most of these buildings are around the same height? Tall, but not tall enough to be considered a tower? That's because (at least here in Los Angeles, I assume the legislation exists elsewhere as well) the law requires all buildings above a certain height, usually around 7 stories, to be built with sturdy steal and concrete instead of wood. Steal and concrete, however, are more expensive than wood, so despite the fact that steal and concrete buildings are both structurally safer and much easier on the environment, developers almost always opt for the tallest structure they can build that still allows them to use cheap wood. This (surprise) maximizes their profit.

Environmentally, concrete and steel are surely worse than wood from renewable sources, no? I could be totally wrong, but I'm not sure that concrete and steel can be made without releasing a lot of carbon. In terms of structure, having flexibility can also be an advantage in some cases, and "wood" doesn't just mean trees, anyway. Formed laminates have been on the scene for decades.
 
2020-11-21 8:29:16 PM  
I lived in one for a while.  It was nice.
 
2020-11-21 9:24:39 PM  

edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me. I don't find that stuff that bad partly because I don't see it here in the US. Maybe somebody's overrun with it but I haven't seen it in the places I spend a lot of time.


They look eerily like any number of new residential buildings locally, but so what? A certain architectural style being "in" at a certain time is nothing new.
 
2020-11-21 9:31:53 PM  

iron de havilland: edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.

The blogger says the building's in LA. But he also doesn't know how to spell "peek" or "steel", so, whatever.

And regarding the bit he wrote about "steal":
Have you noticed that most of these buildings are around the same height? Tall, but not tall enough to be considered a tower? That's because (at least here in Los Angeles, I assume the legislation exists elsewhere as well) the law requires all buildings above a certain height, usually around 7 stories, to be built with sturdy steal and concrete instead of wood. Steal and concrete, however, are more expensive than wood, so despite the fact that steal and concrete buildings are both structurally safer and much easier on the environment, developers almost always opt for the tallest structure they can build that still allows them to use cheap wood. This (surprise) maximizes their profit.

Environmentally, concrete and steel are surely worse than wood from renewable sources, no? I could be totally wrong, but I'm not sure that concrete and steel can be made without releasing a lot of carbon. In terms of structure, having flexibility can also be an advantage in some cases, and "wood" doesn't just mean trees, anyway. Formed laminates have been on the scene for decades.


Yeah, that doesn't seem right.  Mills burn a lot of coal to make steel, that alone has to be more carbon than whatever is emitted by the logging industry.

Which is kind of silly when he didn't even need to make that claim.  He could have just went with the fact that steel and concrete are stronger building materials.
 
2020-11-21 9:33:02 PM  

iron de havilland: edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.

The blogger says the building's in LA. But he also doesn't know how to spell "peek" or "steel", so, whatever.

And regarding the bit he wrote about "steal":
Have you noticed that most of these buildings are around the same height? Tall, but not tall enough to be considered a tower? That's because (at least here in Los Angeles, I assume the legislation exists elsewhere as well) the law requires all buildings above a certain height, usually around 7 stories, to be built with sturdy steal and concrete instead of wood. Steal and concrete, however, are more expensive than wood, so despite the fact that steal and concrete buildings are both structurally safer and much easier on the environment, developers almost always opt for the tallest structure they can build that still allows them to use cheap wood. This (surprise) maximizes their profit.

Environmentally, concrete and steel are surely worse than wood from renewable sources, no? I could be totally wrong, but I'm not sure that concrete and steel can be made without releasing a lot of carbon. In terms of structure, having flexibility can also be an advantage in some cases, and "wood" doesn't just mean trees, anyway. Formed laminates have been on the scene for decades.


I am pretty sure that actual science and TREEHUGGER type environmentalists contest this kind of stuff constantly.

Steel and concrete DO require more resources, but they might last 100 years. That is no exaggeration, of course, and although there is churn, large cities in the US have structures that will go to 300 years maybe? New York brownstones are at 150 years old now? World Trade Center rubble and materials were mostly recycled. So there is that. But they are expensive.

Wood can cause green people to gasp because forests and all, but the wood represents sequestered carbon. White pine, cedar, fir and softer woods used for structures grow quickly and suck up all that carbon from the air. Then they get put into a house for 50 years or so. Then the demolished house is landfilled or burned or recycled. So the wood represents CO2 sequestration. Wood bounces in earthquakes. It breathes well. Wood is a great construction material.

There is a lot of work that has been done over many years on the wider use of bamboo and natural fiber composites. They are great materials with great specs, but regulators will not approve their use because, why? And nobody wants to be the first to have to explain to the public that the bamboo four story building collapse was not due to the use of bamboo.
 
2020-11-21 9:40:31 PM  

2fardownthread: iron de havilland: edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.

The blogger says the building's in LA. But he also doesn't know how to spell "peek" or "steel", so, whatever.

And regarding the bit he wrote about "steal":
Have you noticed that most of these buildings are around the same height? Tall, but not tall enough to be considered a tower? That's because (at least here in Los Angeles, I assume the legislation exists elsewhere as well) the law requires all buildings above a certain height, usually around 7 stories, to be built with sturdy steal and concrete instead of wood. Steal and concrete, however, are more expensive than wood, so despite the fact that steal and concrete buildings are both structurally safer and much easier on the environment, developers almost always opt for the tallest structure they can build that still allows them to use cheap wood. This (surprise) maximizes their profit.

Environmentally, concrete and steel are surely worse than wood from renewable sources, no? I could be totally wrong, but I'm not sure that concrete and steel can be made without releasing a lot of carbon. In terms of structure, having flexibility can also be an advantage in some cases, and "wood" doesn't just mean trees, anyway. Formed laminates have been on the scene for decades.

I am pretty sure that actual science and TREEHUGGER type environmentalists contest this kind of stuff constantly.

Steel and concrete DO require more resources, but they might last 100 years. That is no exaggeration, of course, and although there is churn, large cities in the US have structures that will go to 300 years maybe? New York brownstones are at 150 years old now? World Trade Center rubble and materials were mostly recycled. So there is that. But they are expensive.


biatch please. I'm pretty sure the oldest stone building I've seen, Mousa Broch ~100BCE has paid its carbon debt.
 
2020-11-21 9:42:25 PM  
What Mousa broch might look like:
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 9:44:25 PM  
Well the little bit of that article i struggled through sucked.
 
2020-11-21 9:52:35 PM  
I do not suppose people are very critical of arguments such as "greedy profit maximizers are to blame" or "this just happens because people do not want to spend the money."  I sure am.

Don't architects spend their whole career telling rich people how to spend their money? They write articles calling something ugly and then blame it on rich people getting richer.

In many countries in Asia, all architects must also get a degree in structural engineering. Perhaps that shows in their work, which can be bland and utilitarian, but it also means that they have to go through the process of making sure that the materials and plans are sufficient, and then checking whatever designs against cost, etc. It is a difficult job.

Architects in the US? Aren't they just interior decorators for exteriors?

The system works. LA has a pretty strict building code because of earthquakes. Makes sense. And people build buildings to meet that code, and they get inspected stringently and carefully to make sure they do not fall down. Check. So what is the problem? Oh yeah. The guy who builds a building wants to get a building that will sell so he can get his money back and pay the bank loan off. Money ain't free.

Oh wait, money IS FREE, if it is someone else's money! I forgot! So Mr. Architect, who never had to build his own building, will talk about how builders should use more expensive materials, even when safety inspectors (for whom safety is JOB 1) say it is unnecessary.

Here is what Mr. Article man needs to do. Go to a bank, borrow about 100 million, and go build a bunch of three story steel and concrete buildings, and go try to sell them. And make sure to tell every potential buyer how great they are even though all similar buildings cost about 50% less. And if the market says it is a stupid idea, he becomes instantly bankrupt.

Or he can just write a dumb article and take no risk whatsoever.
 
2020-11-21 9:59:07 PM  

LadySusan: Meh. Housing needs to go up and I'm not going to get too precious about it. My house is a tract house (remember ticky tacky little houses) except not that nice, built in 1947 (post-WW II). Instead of criticizing, how about proposing the solution to building fast, cheap, and good? Rising housing prices are great for me, I got mine, but we need to increase demand radically to keep housing prices affordable.


It's not just housing. I live in the SF bay area and Kaiser is building hospital buildings all over like this. They throw in slight differences in each, but they're all cookie cutter. Just stylish enough to not offend.

Housing outside the city center here can't go above five stories. They're all pretty generic too. Thankfully we still have some epic old buildings downtown if we want to see actual architecture.

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 10:01:54 PM  

FatherDale: "Steal and concrete"?


Teamsters contract job
 
2020-11-21 10:17:14 PM  

Neondistraction: iron de havilland: edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.

The blogger says the building's in LA. But he also doesn't know how to spell "peek" or "steel", so, whatever.

And regarding the bit he wrote about "steal":
Have you noticed that most of these buildings are around the same height? Tall, but not tall enough to be considered a tower? That's because (at least here in Los Angeles, I assume the legislation exists elsewhere as well) the law requires all buildings above a certain height, usually around 7 stories, to be built with sturdy steal and concrete instead of wood. Steal and concrete, however, are more expensive than wood, so despite the fact that steal and concrete buildings are both structurally safer and much easier on the environment, developers almost always opt for the tallest structure they can build that still allows them to use cheap wood. This (surprise) maximizes their profit.

Environmentally, concrete and steel are surely worse than wood from renewable sources, no? I could be totally wrong, but I'm not sure that concrete and steel can be made without releasing a lot of carbon. In terms of structure, having flexibility can also be an advantage in some cases, and "wood" doesn't just mean trees, anyway. Formed laminates have been on the scene for decades.

Yeah, that doesn't seem right.  Mills burn a lot of coal to make steel, that alone has to be more carbon than whatever is emitted by the logging industry.

Which is kind of silly when he didn't even need to make that claim.  He could have just went with the fact that steel steal and concrete are stronger building materials.


FTFY

Steal and concrete may be stronger, but stronger isn't necessarily better.  In an earthquake, the ability of a building to flex is important.  It's why so few homes in California are made of brick as structural members.  Bricks can be plenty strong, but the joints crack like hell in even mild earthquakes.
 
2020-11-21 10:21:16 PM  
That kind of crap is going up all around me. They look horrible and the rents are more than my mortgage. Just multicolored boxes stacked up. Ick.
 
2020-11-21 10:42:57 PM  
This is dumb. They're built like this because it is a practical and cost effective way to build housing. Nothing more.
 
2020-11-21 10:54:02 PM  

Xetal: This is dumb. They're built like this because it is a practical and cost effective way to build housing. Nothing more.


It reminds me of the Brutalist Soviet era housing.
 
2020-11-21 10:55:56 PM  

2fardownthread: In many countries in Asia, all architects must also get a degree in structural engineering. Perhaps that shows in their work, which can be bland and utilitarian, but it also means that they have to go through the process of making sure that the materials and plans are sufficient, and then checking whatever designs against cost, etc. It is a difficult job.


Yeah, but "many countries in Asia" means much of the countries in the world today.

IIRC Uzbekistan has some pretty fine memorials to Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, since he gave his name to the concept of algorithms.

Also, the Islamic golden age is also why we call replacing numbers with letters algebra.

/The most f*cked up part of how the Islamic golden age affects us today is that the etymology of the word "alcohol" comes from those roots.
 
2020-11-21 11:26:25 PM  

2fardownthread: iron de havilland: edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me.
...
I am pretty sure that actual science and TREEHUGGER type environmentalists contest this kind of stuff constantly.


I remember looking up at wood beams in Santa Anna (just south of LA) and trying to figure out why they were used.  Finally I realized/guessed it was because of earthquakes.  There's a lot of tradeoffs between steel/concrete and wood, and wood has a lot more advantages in LA.

I would simply ignore TFA.  But the reality is that crappy business build crappy buildings.  And Sturgeons Law does not suffer violators: 90% of everything is crap.
 
2020-11-21 11:33:33 PM  

Dewey Fidalgo: LadySusan: Meh. Housing needs to go up and I'm not going to get too precious about it. My house is a tract house (remember ticky tacky little houses) except not that nice, built in 1947 (post-WW II). Instead of criticizing, how about proposing the solution to building fast, cheap, and good? Rising housing prices are great for me, I got mine, but we need to increase demand radically to keep housing prices affordable.

Thing is, you can change it if you choose, to...remodel the exterior.   My house was built in 1904.   We have spent a couple of decades "restoring" the exterior as much as possible.   If you have to live in one of these structures, that is something you simply can't do.

What gave me great alarm was that they were building 7 story structures out of wood, to save money (not steel and concrete.   My earthquake (and fire) hairs on the back of my neck were rising at the thought of it.


Wood, not steel and concrete is a bit alarming but depends on how the wood is put together. Japan builds mostly in wood and uses special joints to let the buildings move with the quake. Wood flexes better than concrete.
 
2020-11-21 11:37:31 PM  

Dewey Fidalgo: LadySusan: Meh. Housing needs to go up and I'm not going to get too precious about it. My house is a tract house (remember ticky tacky little houses) except not that nice, built in 1947 (post-WW II). Instead of criticizing, how about proposing the solution to building fast, cheap, and good? Rising housing prices are great for me, I got mine, but we need to increase demand radically to keep housing prices affordable.

Thing is, you can change it if you choose, to...remodel the exterior.   My house was built in 1904.   We have spent a couple of decades "restoring" the exterior as much as possible.   If you have to live in one of these structures, that is something you simply can't do.

What gave me great alarm was that they were building 7 story structures out of wood, to save money (not steel and concrete.   My earthquake (and fire) hairs on the back of my neck were rising at the thought of it.


Feh.  That's where they flat out lost me - that is the opposite of true, in that (properly built) wood and concrete buildings are better for the environment than steel (wood has a lower carbon footprint, typically).

On the seismic side, properly built wood - and, yes, the number of inspections and plan review levels means they don't miss much on larger buildings - is perfectly safe and reasonable, with higher safety factors than steel.  In fact, I've seen more 'erroneously constructed' steel frames than I have wood walls - despite having seen 10x as much wood construction.

Fire wise, it's not bad.  People see 'wood' and think 'burning bad'.  Most structures of significant size have fireproofing around the wood, and large (4x+) wood beams are actually less likely to fail quickly than steel - because where steel loses tensile capacity as it heats, wood mostly doesn't; instead, it burns, which turns into a charcoal level that protects the core of the beam.  So, yeah, you lose some thickness/depth, but a properly designed beam doesn't fail.

Source:  I'm an engineer with 20 years of structural experience on the west coast USA.
 
2020-11-21 11:56:34 PM  

Exception Collection: Source:  I'm an engineer with 20 years of structural experience on the west coast USA.


I, perhaps stand corrected....it will be interesting if the CSZ unzips at 9.

Carbon 12*** interesting I'll admit, and it is not one of these ugly buildings.   Like I said above, they remind me of Soviet apartment blocks.

***If memory serves, it has massive piles pushed deep into the ground, because it is built in the part of Portland that could liquify,

Earthquakes and geology, since the CSZ came to be understood.
 
2020-11-22 12:13:55 AM  
Prime example. They should have spent all that money on a better art collection.

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2020-11-22 2:00:15 AM  

Dewey Fidalgo: Exception Collection: Source:  I'm an engineer with 20 years of structural experience on the west coast USA.

I, perhaps stand corrected....it will be interesting if the CSZ unzips at 9.

Carbon 12*** interesting I'll admit, and it is not one of these ugly buildings.   Like I said above, they remind me of Soviet apartment blocks.

***If memory serves, it has massive piles pushed deep into the ground, because it is built in the part of Portland that could liquify,

Earthquakes and geology, since the CSZ came to be understood.


The design quake for the CSZ is around a M9.1 iirc.  It's been a while (2011) since I compared shear wave values to more traditional quake scales, though, so I may be misremembering.

CLT, as used in Carbon 12, is fantastic from an environmental standpoint.  It sequesters carbon, it replaces concrete slabs, it's fire resistant (again, by charring), it generally takes less equipment to build (no site crane needed, just a mobile one), it goes up faster, and it's easier to attach to.  There's also MPP, or mass plywood panels, which are basically Laminated Veneer Lumber turned into slabs.  I designed a CLT building a few years ago for the Hyak region of Washington, where the critical factors were the two month construction season and the seventeen-ish feet of snow on the building.
 
2020-11-22 3:08:36 AM  

wax_on: Prime example. They should have spent all that money on a better art collection.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x687]


Looks like a pretty good way to protect that art collection against this:

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-22 8:03:40 AM  

edmo: Pix in TFA look very much like Europe to me. I don't find that stuff that bad partly because I don't see it here in the US. Maybe somebody's overrun with it but I haven't seen it in the places I spend a lot of time.


Every big city I've lived in or visited in the last 10 years has blocks of soulless, near zero setback, metal clad, mid-rise cubes. Increasingly, the lobbies look like outsized utility rooms, or the walkout lobby of parking structures where the electronic pay machines live. The main style differences between one cube and another is metal cladding finish, the variety of sans-seraph font used around entrance, and the aggressively vague building name.
 
2020-11-22 8:11:55 AM  
The "New Urbanism" model.

Or the modern tenement.

Here in Atlanta, most of the jurisdictions limit them to six floors. They've multiplied like cockroaches because you can fit 200 units on 3 acres.
 
2020-11-22 9:31:58 AM  

iron de havilland: What Mousa broch might look like:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 800x591]


Damn it, learn to be more responsible online. That casual remark of yours just cost me half an hour on Atlas Obscura.
 
2020-11-22 11:20:18 AM  
I'm late, but I'll join the pile-on. I found the complaint that making a single large building look like a set of smaller ones via visual tricks really weird. If one big building is more efficient, I don't see why disguising that it is one big building is so awful.
 
2020-11-22 12:53:32 PM  
Bring back Googie architecture.
Or the abattoir style.
The Architect Sketch - Monty Python
Youtube QfArEGCm7yM
 
2020-11-22 12:54:39 PM  

mjjt: So he's basically complaining that many city buildings are not 'interesting' enough for his taste. But I would suggest people care a lot more about interiors, and are unwilling to pay more for a facade over and above functionality.


In murca 50s thru 70s, houses and buildings were, compared to today, uglier on the outside but more cozy and interesting on the inside.

Today they're prettier and clean looking on the outside, but colder and less friendly on the inside.

Humans have been taken out of the equation.
All that matters now is appearences.

Welcome to TV murca.
 
2020-11-22 1:00:11 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: That kind of crap is going up all around me. They look horrible and the rents are more than my mortgage. Just multicolored boxes stacked up. Ick.


Sit at home stock owners and real estate people kinda like it.
 
2020-11-22 1:00:57 PM  

Xetal: This is dumb. They're built like this because it is a practical and cost effective way to build housing. Nothing more.


Maximize profits for sit at home stock owners
 
2020-11-22 1:31:17 PM  

Linux_Yes: mjjt: So he's basically complaining that many city buildings are not 'interesting' enough for his taste. But I would suggest people care a lot more about interiors, and are unwilling to pay more for a facade over and above functionality.

In murca 50s thru 70s, houses and buildings were, compared to today, uglier on the outside but more cozy and interesting on the inside.

Today they're prettier and clean looking on the outside, but colder and less friendly on the inside.

Humans have been taken out of the equation.
All that matters now is appearences.

Welcome to TV murca.


Because houses have become assets first, what is the resale value...rather than homes.
 
2020-11-22 1:56:27 PM  
Make Stuff Great Again
 
2020-11-22 2:41:04 PM  
Medium: when your word-vomit is not worth buying or peer-reviewing.
 
2020-11-22 3:09:49 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: wax_on: Prime example. They should have spent all that money on a better art collection.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x687]

Looks like a pretty good way to protect that art collection against this:

[Fark user image image 850x554]


True of any structure not built of flammable materials. Not a reason to pay 2 billion dollars for an ugly POS building.
 
2020-11-22 3:24:40 PM  
Untimed down in Jacksonville
 
2020-11-22 3:25:15 PM  

greentea1985: Untimed down in Jacksonville


Oops. Wrong thread
 
2020-11-22 5:57:02 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: That kind of crap is going up all around me. They look horrible and the rents are more than my mortgage. Just multicolored boxes stacked up. Ick.


And they are here in MA as well. High density premium apartments. They come in on flatbeds and they just nail them together. Pretty much any sizeable commercial lot is a target. They bulldoze it and put up one of these. They go up fast.
 
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