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    INTERNATIONAL SNAPSHOT: Cornell architecture's female dean; Bold new Vietnamese bridge; Worrying waterfall façade

    Stephanie Stefanovic

    Let's take a look at some of the world's latest innovations in architecture and design.

    First female dean of Cornell architecture school 

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    Photography by Andy Ryan for Cornell

    Cornell University has named J. Meejin Yoon as the new dean of the School of Art, Architecture and Planning. Yoon, who graduated from Cornell’s architecture program in 1995, will be the first female dean in the school’s 122-year history. 

    She is currently the head of the architecture department at the School of Art, Architecture and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was also the first woman to hold the position. Along with teaching, Yoon runs her firm Howeler + Yoon with Eric Howeler. 

    “Meejin Yoon is an exemplary alumna of Cornell’s architecture program,” says provost Michael Kotlikoff.

    “She has led key academic initiatives and contributed to the transformation of the department of architecture at MIT, and leads an award-winning design practice. I am pleased to welcome her back to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and to Cornell.” 

    Larger-than-life bridge completed in Vietnam

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    Image: TA Landscape Architecture

    A unique new bridge has opened across Vietnam’s Ba Na Hills. Spanning 150 metres, the shimmering gold bridge is lined with vibrant flowers and held up by a pair of giant stone hands. The bridge sits 1,400 metres above sea level, creating the illusion of a silk strip hiding in the clouds above Da Nang. 

    The bridge, located in the tourist retreat of Thien Thai Garden, is said to be part of a $2 billion project to boost tourism to the area. The bridge’s designer has not been named, but TA Landscape Architecture is known to have created renders of the bridge. 

    Concerns about massive waterfall façade in China

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    The 121-metre tall Liebian Building in Guiyang, China, features one of the tallest artificial waterfalls in the world, with its façade including a 108-metre built-in water feature. 

    Planned as a tourist attraction, the waterfall offers stunning views from the plaza below. However, the feature has caused controversy among locals, with some residents calling newspapers to report a massive water leak. Others have called the feature wasteful, with some reports claiming it requires up to 800 Yuan (or $160 AUD)-worth of electricity to run every hour. 

    The building’s owners have defended the feature, stating that it uses recycled rain water and tap water, and that it will only be used on special occasions. 

     

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