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  • in reply to: riba part3 ? #741632

    I did my (RIBA) part 3, 14 years years ago in the UK. At that time the procedure was that you had to have a minimum of 2 years post grad experience, have a satisfactory log of that work, carry out a ‘thesis’ or building study on a project in which you had been involved and which had been completed on site, your architectural thesis (if you were from Bolton St) had to be accepted and approved by their external examiners, you sat a series of written exams and then completed an oral examination. For reasons which I can’t exactly recall I was exempted the written exam (something to do with the fact that I was already a registered Architect under ARCUK). but the Oral Exam was then beefed up to a full examination and everything ‘hung’ on that.

    Complicated Yeah??.

    The main difference with RIAI part threes was the range of contracts (about 14 then) which you had to be familiar with under the RIBA set up – as opposed to the two or three forms then in use by RIAI.

    I did the RIBA exams purely because I had been working in London, never worked in Ireland and had no familiarity at that stage with the system here.

    That said if anything I think the RIBA system is slightly more rational and structured – I’ve always had a vague suspicion that the institute here operates a Quota for passing part 3 students – no evidence of that with RIBA.

    RIBA is recognised here for all practical purposes and yes you can join RIAI once you have RIBA without anything more strenuous than an interview.

    That said I never bothered applying and am still RIBA rather than RIAI.

    Hope thats some help

    in reply to: Underused Parks #740919

    I wonder whether the railings to Parnell Sq are actualy original late Georgian – I have a feeling that the pattern of ‘post’ used is correct for that period and vaguely recall an early 19th Cent print showing them (along with the Sedan Chair points removed in the late 40’s).

    That said I also remember reading that when originally laid out the square was used as a vast carriage park and was extraordinarily mucky.

    Mind you I hate the idea of building up the sides of the square – much abused as it is!!. It is the only square in the city which has a building on it (the Rotunda) designed to face onto the square as well as onto the street.

    And the relationship with the Northern (Charlmont) terrace would be destroyed.

    It would seem to me to be a far better idea to try to return the square to a more ornamental representation of its original 18th century appearance when it was a pleasure garden – it would’nt be impossible although it would require taking back the internal car park and yard areas from the rotunda.

    Yes the more I think about it the idea of building on it really stinks – I think it and the old Tholsel would then be the only Malton views to have been lost to the City.

    Sorry Dick -Thumbs Down!!, that idea really sucks – try employing some local architects to advise you on this stuff – Much as I like Richard McCormac’s work and can tolerate MBM (in Spain) – I don’t think much of their grasp of context in a Dublin sense.

    in reply to: Lets nuke the computer whiz. . . #739711

    Get over it guys and guyesses, Computers in architecture are tools, the images they produce are tools, as with most things well handled they produce good work ,badly handled and you get crap!

    When I was a student in the 80’s there was a ridiculous debate as to whether pens or pencils were more ‘appropriate’ for use in the realm of architectural creation (I kid you not it went on for years) submit in pen in Bolton St and your scheme for 2nd year end project might be rejected, as for pantone markers – Roman Empires have fallen over less!!.

    Now watercolour on stretched Whatman paper – delicate washes of chinese ink (sorry not allowed in B St) theres a tool!! also a completely and utterly pointless exercise!!.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #728049

    Very Interesting thread.

    Particularly the comments regarding maintenance and dirt. As an Architect I’ve always felt that our profession hasa tendancy to the belief that a ‘Building’ can solve all problems – eg: Bad Area – solution New Buildings. Dirty Street – Solution New facades. Social Housing – new shiny development (the Marmion Court Queen St development is typical – social problems worse than ever but all hidden away).

    I’ve long had a notion (and it’s nothing more than that) that if you want to seriously upgrade the experience of the user of the city that you spend money not on general development but on the surrounding environment eg: plant trees, better streetlights, high quality granite paving, wider sidewalks, reduced through traffic. And I’m interested in the example of Parliament St where all of this happened when the street was rather shoddy and unpleasant – within the year shopkeepers were erecting awnings, propery owners were looking at their buildings in a new light and treating them as assets rather than problems – it all worked out rather well at a relatively low capital cost.

    Most of the really nice cities that I’ve been to have an excellent and clean public environment rather than particularly good architecture ,I’m thinking for example of Melbourne which I really liked but where althoug hte architecture is nothing special the whole city has a rather nice pleasant and safe vibe.

    That i na way is the problem wit hour development planning, it is’nt realy ‘joined up writing’ just individual sites and buildings given atteneion on an individual basis rather than to conform with an overall physical vision based around streets, squares, and aimed at teh ground level user.

    Our streets ar’nt safe, they’re not wheelchair pr pushchair negotiable, traffic fumes permeate the air and there’s a lamentable lack of and hostility to ‘greenery’ on the grounds that it costs money to maintain.

    In fairness to the O’Connel St Plan that’s been a real focus for the planners and architects, making better streets. Now I don’t like or agree with everything that they’re doing but generally that type of work is unshowey and results arn’t visible until completion ofthe works.

    As to the Spike – well I’m not mad about it but it does represent a very laudable attempt to address the ‘marking’ of public space in a positive and non profit driven way.

    Anyway, Apologies for rabbitting on,


    in reply to: an taisce-and rumours of them going bust #739214

    So What???

    Somebody (rightly) said An Taisce isn’t in a popularity contest.

    I’m an ex member (and Council member) of AT, an Architect in private practise (so much for assertions regarding those who ‘don’t create!!) have worked in England, Pakistan and South America – and am horrified at attitudes among the Irish people to conservation and environmentalism.

    Paul you really should feature Frank McDonalds article of last Saturday, and fintan O’Tooles and John S Doyles among others regarding such attitutes.

    There is no difference in ‘importance’ between architecture of the past and that of the present.

    I happen to be happiest in doing contemporary new build work, I also thoroughly enjoy the non egotistical elements of conservation work (although that’s mostly a hobby).

    I fully support AT and their policies on built environment most of which are pretty well thought out.

    Diaspora, I admire your perseverance but don’t know why you’re bothering – there’s little to apologise about or make excuses for. Alan has a bee in his bonnet because His Scheme was turned down in Sligo and At had a hand in it.

    For your information Alan I’ve had AT appleal and object to work of my own and have never taken it personally, you’re and Architect and an adult (presumably). behave like one!!.

    Paul (i’m sorry about this) has never demonstrated any sense of even handedness about AT, and much of what is written is by the same old gang of four (or five) is a combination of ignorance, laziness and a cast iron unwillingness to consider the other side ofthe argument – In fact just waht they accuse AT of.

    Get on with your work Diaspora, whatever it is, for AT and to hell with the begrudgers (most of whom would be pretty unfamiliar with the concept of unpaid, voluntary or community service).

    If AT goes broke so be it. Tony Lowes comments in the Irish Times of last Saurday regarding environmental issues pretty much summarise it for me ,Its all about “Saving Ireland From The Irish”.

    AT has a public role and duty and until the day that the Banks actually foreclose, that will remain their responsibility.

    One final comment – who should determine what is right for our built environment – The Massed Builders, Developers ,County Councillors and Architects of this country???????.



    in reply to: will sligo clip the wings of Dunlop and Murray #735499

    Alan – You are that rare thing, A Complete and Utter Gobshite!!.

    I think that I said earlier on this thread that the architectural profession needs to do some growing up. It seems to be particularly true of your postings. You obviously have talent, its a pity that you’re also thin skinned and egotistical – not a pleasant combination.

    You bash away at the old “we wuz robbed” line because you failed to address arelatively straightforward issue surrounding the conservation of an existing building.

    You plug the ‘An Taisce’ thing as if it was actually something to be ashamed of to take an interest in the environment and conservation.

    Personally I enjoy conservation work because it enables me to get into the skin of another architect and see things from his perspective, because it involves a different type of problem to the ones usually encountered i nnew build work and because you don’t have to be part of the overblown architectural beauty parade. However for myself the bulk of my work is new build and rather good stuff at that.

    You seem to have a problem with that.

    I’m an ex member and ex council member of An Taisce and am very proud of my time with them. I don’t agree with everythig that they do or say but the’yre commited to long term improvement of environment, most are volunteers and they’re not afraid of the development lobby (by which I mean the Healey Rae types and the Mohair Suit brigade).

    As to your extraordinary rants at those who disagree with you and your repeated self aggrandisement – Frankly its embarassing. You repeatedly refuse to discuss the architectural merits of the actual proposal one way or another reject any form of true discussion.

    Thats why I don’t feel much inclination to get involved in this thread – Its impossible to discuss this situation (and it is an interesting one) in a non confrontational manner with you.

    Now I’m aware that this reply is lengthy and thatI am not exactly being temperate in my comments, however your tone throughout is really appalling, and rude, and dismissive.

    in reply to: will sligo clip the wings of Dunlop and Murray #735444

    Not sure that I want to get involved in this thread, however, it does seem to me that the attitudes towards conservation in this country and evidenced on this thread are juvenile in the extreme.

    Alan – sorry you ‘fell out of your pram’ however, the building was a protected structure, contrary to your assertions it does have an architectural and urban significance in that such structures in the vernacular classical idiom are becoming increasingly rare, a walk around Sligo town will easily give witness to that.

    My own practise takes great care to try and work with such structures – yes I agree that the idea of retention of facade only makes a nonsense of the principles of conservation, and would’nt countenance anything of the kind myself.

    That said the ‘This is the only site my client owns’ attitude is really appalling and not worthy of serious consideration as an argument against conservation. Tough!! let him fulfil his obligations under the Acts as the owner of a protected structure.

    As to the assertions of ‘students’ assessing the building in question – well I find that extremely hard to believe – we as a practise are very involved in teh preparation of conservation reports and assessments. These are pretty much mandatory for protected / prospective protected structures and usually require a significant amount of expertise in their preparation.

    I know the building in question – having taken the liberty of having a look at it and doing a little research myself on foot of earlier postings on this thread. Its no masterpiece – I’ll grant you that, however it does have an urban significance and a level of architectural importance which meriits protection. There is also the side issue of historical association, the Yeats connections are significant enough – not exactly a doghouse!!.

    The answer – ignor teh facade tretention option and work with the existing structure -better architects than you have done so, Lutyens, Oliver Hill (a founder of MARS and CIAM and a commited modernist and historic buildings specialist) and of course our old favorite Carlo Scarpa (apply some of your own ‘special understanding of his work here).

    I suspect that if you do so your client won’t exactly end up out of pocket.

    Sorry but I’ve no sympathy for you on this one.

    in reply to: Underneath Dublin? #716412

    Despite most of the interest cited on this thread there are very few underground ‘spaces’ in Dublin.

    A couple of railway tunnels, several culverted rivers and the odd bomb shelter usually shallow and dating from the last war.

    There might be undiscovered mediaeval mines outside of the city and possibly a souterraine within the walls – none have been discovered to the best of my knowledge – the society of antiquaries might have some info in this regard.

    Lastly, if you must go ‘below ground’ do so through a potholing club. The railway tunnels are all ‘live’, the culverted rivers (such as the one beneath Smithfield) are all fast moving, confined within very small areas and are not navigable. Generally, below ground spaces, even shallow ones such as bomb shelters, are extemely dangerous. On no account try to enter into any of these spaces.

    Get a life lads – theres a lot going on above ground and plenty else to risk your neck at without causing a rescue crisis!!!.

    in reply to: listing for other reasons ? #736730

    Criteria for listing are that a building or structure should be of architectural, historic, scientific or artistic interest.

    Local Historic, or Architectural significance can also apply.

    Describe the building which is of concern, its age, ‘rarity’ and associations, it may qualify under one of the above.

    in reply to: Painting of Powerscourt House, Dublin??? #736323

    If its a Malton the national Gallery on Clare St will probably have gallery licensed copies for sale.

    Original Malton engravings are rare enough and cost a couple of grand apiece more even if they’re an early good quality impression.

    Malton’s father was a drawing master and rather a good one. Malton himself was something of a ‘git’, brought over from London by Gandon who gave him a lot of work and treated him pretty well malton was a notorious backbiter and pursued Gandon with all manner of scurrilous accusations of dirty doing as well as doing as much damage to his reputation through malicious gossip as possible – quite probably suffered from terminal knob rot – great draftsman though.

    Andrew Bonar Law’s Neptune Gallery on South William St sometimes has relatively cheap (I’m a print collector so ‘relatively’ can still run into hundreds) later impressions from the original plates and it is possible to get good quality photographic repros.

    Bonar Law by the way has an original book of hte original images which he was showing at the RDS antique fair last weekend. He might show it if you’re polite and interested enough.

    in reply to: Were 3W the architects the DDDA were looking for? #736442

    I hav’nt really followed this one as diligintly as most of you – probably because the whole ‘Big Bildins’ thing is’nt really my cup of Earl Grey –

    That said – I really liked the 3W images (a whole lot more than the winners) which I thought were very subtle and well composed.

    What really interests me though is the RIAI’s role – true it was’nt their competition However two of the adjudicators were ‘distinguished’ members of that body namely Jimbo and Arfur.

    I’m a RIBA member myself but if their code of practise and conduct is anything like ours surely this pair can be called in by the RIAI, firstly to explain their presence on the jury of an unapproved competition

    and secondly to verify to the professional body regulating the architectural profession in this country that they were’nt mainly there to put ‘lipstick on the Gorilla’!!.

    By the way in the past the RIAI have made a point of circulating members of unapproved compo’s warning them off particularly where Design and Build has been involved and more than one Local Authority has fallen foul of this. Presumably the same would apply to their members being involved in the organising or adjudication of such affairs?????

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #727914

    Re: Graham’s comments.

    An Taisce may have had theri own views on O’Connell St at the time – I was’nt aware of them though – I’m a private consultant Architect, who is a member, not an employee – that said I must find out what their position was at the time.

    As to the Mall – well its ‘horses for courses’ really – it always seemed to me like the best way of retrieving the character of the street as a public space which is pretty much what it was planned as rather than primarily as a thoroughfare – I happen to like parks, amenity space and ‘resting’ and promenade places within cities – I don’t particularly think its an archaic concept either – My own feeling was that it might ‘expose’ a hitherto hidden aspect ofteh street which might have allowed for continuation across the bridge (which is extremely wide) and solved the ‘problem’ of the still messy junction at D’Olier St and Westmorland St.

    The trees?? – well its a personal thing – I find the idea of destroying something that took 40 to 10 years (depending on their location) to grow – perverse in the extreme.

    I agree they wer’nt particularly well placed however they’re attractive in their own right, characterful, and with a different approach to the detail of the central strip and some judicious pruning and shaping could have formed the ‘bones’ of something quite unique along the central reservation or mall.

    in reply to: AAI Scribblings #735638

    What! has made a couple of very interesting points here that are worth discussing.

    Regarding Computers – my own view is that as a tool leading to a built end they are hugely useful, particularly if you think about the simplification that CAD drawing processes allow for in terms of copying, editing, layering etc.

    A lot is written however about the visualisation by computer of unbuilt architecture – I think its a mistake to get too hung up on this as its more of a presentational ‘mode’ (and actually quite a limited one) – for example – All our drawing is done on computer. We insist on conceptuals being done in 3d hand drawn sketch form though, and often will draw perspectives freehand as clients seem to feel more familiarity and comfort with a hand drawn perspective.

    CAD perspectives (I feel) do a bad selling job – often they’re so ‘realistic’ in the virtual sense, that their impact and cleverness falls flat and can even seem facile to the lay person. In contrast I have always made a point of drawing a view perspective in front of a client for presentations – sometimes upside down when facing them across a table.

    The impact of this is enormous – the client feels that because the person across the table – the ‘architect’ can do so easily something that they feel would be impossible for them, their confidence in the architects ability is enormously increased. We have quite literally ‘clinched’ some big jobs on the basis of that one simple act.

    Whats other point – that art or architecture cannot be ‘predifined’ is something that I have more difficulty with. For most of the last thousand years or so thats exactly what both were – the results of largely predefined processes in which the skill lay in very subtle shades of accentuation: For example, look at the number of ‘Davids’, Pieta’s, Pallazo Farnese’s or Palladian Villas – huge numbers of each were produced by a variety of artists and architects some good, a few dreadful and may ‘workmanlike’ (I quite value workmanlike so don’t slag it off). All were more or less identical in terms of critical elements, broad appearance and layout yet the end result from these predetermined forms were quite different from one another.

    You read a lot on this forum about architects building ‘boxes’ – pretty much a predetermined form, however some of these boxes are extroardinary, some are execrable.

    In many ways predetermination is a virtue.I t takes the hard and sometimes pointless (re-inventing the wheel) work out of conceptualisation and focusses effort upon the real business of detailing, spatial juxtaposition and the always ephemeral ‘quality’ .

    For example – I’m convinced it would be possible and perhaps interesting to make great architecture out of such a predetermined form as the semi detached, tile pitched house – of course it would take an enormous amount of effort – that was really the great strength of Grainne Hassetts Coill Dubh Credit Union – taking teh 70’s bungalow, turning it on its head and making it into a recognisably desirable architectural model.

    I like this approach – it assumes that nothing is absolutely worthless – I would be a big critic of Tom Power but that has been one of his strengths – looking for the magical in the ordinary.

    Its interesting to look at things in this way – I feel that we take the need to be ‘different’ and modern as too much of an imperative in architecture .There are other perhaps more significant and important things.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #727910

    I was amused to read Graham’s ‘rant’ on the previous page about the city council’s poor record on O’Connell St. Even more amused to note them yet again claiming credit for the whole idea of the ‘Civic Thoroughfare’ in the first place.

    My practise actually produced the initial draft masterplan in 1996. It was’nt a City Council proposal in fact the body pressing for it’s implementation was the City Centre Business Association.

    Among other things our proposal was for the thoroughfare to extend through from O’Connel St all the way up Dame St, for the inclusion of a new footbridge east of O’Connell Bridge, and the establishment of a series of boardwalks along the Liffey.

    We were credited with this precisely once, on an old ‘Questions and Answers’ when the then minister referred rather disparagingly to the ‘Kelly Plan’.

    Out of interest we were paid the princely sum of £600.00 for the plan as our client was basically trying to press this proposal forward on a shoestring. I remember quite well the chief exec of the Business Association telling me at the time that none of us would get anything in the way of credit for the implementation of the plan if it ever came to pass as the ‘Big Boys in Civic Offices’ would grab the limelight.

    That said, City Architects Division really worked their socks off trying to make the thing work (even if I don’t agree with the removal of the trees which came in sometime later or with the decision not to re-instate Gardiners mall).

    Anyway, I thought you might find this of interest.

    in reply to: Busaras revamp #735567


    If I might correct you and even suggest an apology is due:

    Regarding An Taisce and the Irish Georgian Society’s attitude to Bus Aras:

    An Taisce have been raising Cain with the City Council and CIE over proposed plans for the ‘renovation’ of Bus Aras and have been doing so with little or no support since the first tranche of major internal refurbishment about seven years ago when most of the original Scott designed fittings were trashed.

    As to the general attitude of AT to modern Architecture I was peripherally involved in the last round of recommendations regarding lisitngs in the Dublin Area, quite a number of modern movement buildings were recommended for listing with almost none accepted by the City Council for preservation .

    You may also be forgetting the role of AT in relation to highlighting the scandalous illegal demolition of Archers – the prominance given to that building did’nt just come out of the blue – a lot of work was done by AT just trying to persuade media to cover it and the City Manager to take action.

    Similarly the ‘renovation’ of the Old Dublin Airport Terminal Building – I have a deep an abiding suspicion thatif it were’nt for Ian Lumley that building would’nt exist even in its current bastardised form.

    I’ve noticed it before not so much on this website but in your own comments: a tendancy to be very unfair in this regard to AT.

    As to that – I am sure that An Taisce is unlikely to pursue the matter – the staff have more on their hands than your forum comments. I would however add, as an outgoing council member that you might care to check the accuracy of such statements with your solicitors before making them. You’re usually very careful about libel and slander on this forum – by all means criticise, but don’t invent.

    By the way I completely and utterly agree with the majority of the comments on this site regarding the significance of Bus Aras.

    in reply to: AAI Scribblings #735620

    Now Then Young What!!

    You may need to do a little back reading on this thread yourself laddie, my original proposition was that the writing referred to made obscure and complicated something which could have been made shorter, easier to undertand and generally more comprehensible.

    I added to that the suggestion that such writing really is of very little worth relative to thepractise of architecture and would stand pretty much over that. Most of what’s to be found written not just in BM but in the majority of pseudish ‘conceptual’ writing on architecture is utterly forgetable and a bad waste of trees!.

    Garet / Aoife is quite right – you want to be a good architect – then go and do it ,you can mess around with writing concept and theory al you want – it is’nt real until its built. Does that sound harsh??. Yes it is, such is life.

    I don’t buy the argument for a second that not having a project dropped into your lap either by the boss or some benevolent entity is an excuse for not doign ‘real’ architecture irrespective of what your design predilictions are.

    As a graduate I found it hard to get decent jobs built so despite the 10 hour day did every competition that I could – that gave me a pretty good edge and a level of design ability and experience that no amount of architectural writing (and I exclude AR, RIBAJ, many decent well written books from this – they’re essentially clear and ‘factual’ as opposed to the ‘Tracings’ / ‘Building Materials’ nonsense), could provide. I never won a compo -still hav’nt – but I’ve come pretty close, have developed my own somewhat crankey set of architectural values and am not afraid of work as a consequence.

    I’ve a load of unbuilt work much of which I adored doing but its enabled me to develop as an architect in a fairly rational way.

    Writing about architecture is probably great for the writer – we all love the sounds of our own voices (look at the length of my post), but its of little help or worth when it comes to designing your own work. You can’t ‘be’ Rem, or Wim, or Mies, or even emulate (dodgey concept that ) them by just reading or writing about them – Its all about work.

    I love to read – and actually one of my pet projects right now is designing my own library – Architectural books are great so long as they are well illustrated, and the theorising is kept down to a minimum. But the kind of nonsense I was referring to in ‘BM is’nt just of little worth -its atrociously bad writing – complexity for the sake of complexity isa waste of your time and effort and mine.


    in reply to: And its goodbye to …. #735987

    One of the buildings knocked had an original 18th century pressed tin set of ceilings to the first floor I’m informed, very unusual and the earliest and just about ony one recorded in Ireland.

    They were far earlier than 1930’s.

    Does anybody actually like the new scheme – can’t say I’m very impressed – derivative, jejeune declasse and all that!!

    in reply to: AAI Scribblings #735608

    You would’nt be suggesting that ‘building or designing’ is ‘too obvious’ now would you???.

    Place money firmly in location of mouth!!.

    (Curmudgeonly Snort of Derision at ‘psuedo architects who prefer theory over practise).



    in reply to: Restore Restore #735144

    Newgrange is more of a 19th century ‘reconstruction’ than a restoration.

    The point about restoration is that primary material is retained (eg: the building and its components), choosing teh Newgrange restoration whihc is a lovely piece of Disneyesque claptrap over Henrietta St which is still substantially intact would probably be a big mistake.

    Mind you, on the other hand, there has’nt been a huge amount of damage done to the henrietta St houses apart from the removal of fire surrounds and the primary staircases (I think only about half of these survive).

    The Dublin Corpo – Blitzkrieg approach to restoration always frightends me – the two wide streets commissioners houses on capel st were all but destroyed in their ‘restoration’ and the facade treatment certainly refers to no known render treatment in Dublin contemporary to such buildings.

    If I had a choice wit hHenrietta St it would be to secure the external envelope, roofs, windows, etc, eradicate sources and causes of rising damp and dry rot and do nothing else!!.

    in reply to: Restore Restore #735139

    You’re not really serious are you ASDASD????,

    Its not ‘petty nationalism to distinguish between the two, just plain stupid (and I’m speaking as an Olympic Standard eejit).

    If you take that line you come back to three Iriah Architectural building types – 1. The Round Tower, 2. The Ball Alley and finally 3. the hole in the ground with branches and skins over that the poor befuddled Irish peasantry lived in until some ‘colonist’ introduced the concept of the ‘building’ (probably some bleedin norwegian).

    As to scales of colonialism – don’t be a nit, for most of our history the King of England (like it or not) was regarded as ‘Our’ King.

    Lastly – was the Duke of Leinster an Irishman, Stapleton the stuccodore – was he Irish, were the PBI who built everything in this country Irish?.

    Honest to God, sometimes the ‘sophistication’ of thought processes such as yours on Archeire would be funny if they were’nt so monumentally daft.

    Wake up, smell the daisy’s and buy yourself a copy of Maurice Craig’s ‘Dublin’ – then again you can’t really trust Craig to properly appraise ‘Irishry’ he’s a Belfast Prod!!!!!!.

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