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Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. The view of the bridge, the harbour, the nearby Sydney Opera House is regarded as an iconic image of Sydney, of Australia itself; the bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Under the direction of John Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932; the bridge's general design, which Bradfield tasked the NSW Department of Public Works with producing, was a rough copy of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. This general design document, did not form any part of the request for tender, which remained sufficiently broad as to allow cantilever and suspension bridge proposals; the design chosen from the tender responses was original work created by Dorman Long, who leveraged some of the design from their own Tyne Bridge which, though superficially similar, does not share the graceful flares at the ends of each arch which make the harbour bridge so distinctive, It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level.

It was the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was added to the Australian National Heritage List on 19 March 2007 and to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 June 1999; the southern end of the bridge is located at Dawes Point in The Rocks area, the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. There are six original lanes of road traffic through the main roadway, plus an additional two lanes of road traffic on its eastern side, using lanes that were tram tracks. Adjacent to the road traffic, a path for pedestrian use runs along the eastern side of the bridge, whilst a dedicated path for bicycle use only runs along the western side; the main roadway across the bridge is known as the Bradfield Highway and is about 2.4 km long, making it one of the shortest highways in Australia. The arch is composed of two 28-panel arch trusses; the arch has a span of 504 m and its summit is 134 m above mean sea level.

The total weight of the steelwork of the bridge, including the arch and approach spans, is 52,800 tonnes, with the arch itself weighing 39,000 tonnes. About 79% of the steel those technical sections constituting the curve of the arch, was imported pre-formed from England, with the rest being sourced from Newcastle. On site, the contractors set up two workshops at Milsons Point, at the site of the present day Luna Park, fabricated the steel into the girders and other required parts; the bridge is held together by six million Australian-made hand-driven rivets supplied by the McPherson company of Melbourne, the last being driven through the deck on 21 January 1932. The rivets were inserted into the plates; the largest of the rivets used was 39.5 cm long. The practice of riveting large steel structures, rather than welding, was, at the time, a proven and understood construction technique, whilst structural welding had not at that stage been adequately developed for use on the bridge. At each end of the arch stands a pair of 89 m high concrete pylons, faced with granite.

The pylons were designed by the Scottish architect Thomas S. Tait, a partner in the architectural firm John Burnet & Partners; some 250 Australian and Italian stonemasons and their families relocated to a temporary settlement at Moruya, NSW, 300 km south of Sydney, where they quarried around 18,000 m3 of granite for the bridge pylons. The stonemasons cut and numbered the blocks, which were transported to Sydney on three ships built for this purpose; the Moruya quarry was managed by John Gilmore, a Scottish stonemason who emigrated with his young family to Australia in 1924, at the request of the project managers. The concrete used was Australian-made and supplied from Kandos, New South Wales. Abutments at the base of the pylons are essential to support the loads from the arch and hold its span in place, but the pylons themselves have no structural purpose, they were included to provide a frame for the arch panels and to give better visual balance to the bridge. The pylons were not part of the original design, were only added to allay public concern about the structural integrity of the bridge.

Although added to the bridge for their aesthetic value, all four pylons have now been put to use. The south-eastern pylon contains a museum and tourist centre, with a 360° lookout at the top providing views across the harbour and city; the south-western pylon is used by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority to support its CCTV cameras overlooking the bridge and the roads around that area. The two pylons on the north shore include venting chimneys for fumes from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, w

The Land of New Hope

The Land of New Hope is the first full-length album by Timo Tolkki's metal opera project Avalon. The album was released on May 17, 2013 in Europe and May 21, 2013 in the US. According to Tolkki "I sort of rediscovered myself musically in the process of making this album. I started composing the music after that. My aim was to write memorable songs with good melodies that would support the story... On this album you will find a lot of different dynamics...with some songs that are orchestrated and sound very big."Tolkki plans to release a trilogy about this concept, The Land of New Hope is the end of the storySeveral heavy metal singers were invited to play the characters of the story of the album, with female vocalist Elize Ryd and vocalist Rob Rock appearing to be the main characters and singing on most of the songs. The remaining vocalists performing on the album were Michael Kiske, Russell Allen, Sharon den Adel and Tony Kakko; the artwork was created by Stanis W. Decker and will be released in 2 versions - regular cd and deluxe edition with a 30-minute documentary plus a promotional videoclip for the song "Enshrined in My Memory".

"It’s A. D. 2055 and most big cities of Planet Earth are either flooded with tsunamis or destroyed by earthquakes and fire. The whole infrastructure and communication system has broken down; the destruction is total. A small group of survivors leaves for a quest to find a sacred place known as The Land of New Hope, it is an old fairytale, told since decades, but few has ever believed of its existence. They travel far on a journey, full of dangers and come across a seer who guides them further, she explains to them that The Land of New Hope does exist, but it is guarded by a Keeper and only those who are pure in heart can pass him. They wander further towards their ultimate destiny…." All tracks are written by Timo Tolkki. Timo Tolkki - Guitar, keyboards Elize Ryd - lead vocals on #01, 02, 03, 04, 06, 09, 11 Rob Rock - lead vocals on #01, 02, 04, 05, 07, 08 Russell Allen - lead vocals on #01, 02, 04 Michael Kiske - lead vocals on #10 Sharon den Adel - lead vocals on #06 Tony Kakko - lead vocals on #05 Alex Holzwarth - drums Derek Sherinian - Keyboards, keyboard solo on #08 Jens Johansson - Keyboards, keyboard solo on #08 Mikko Härkin - Keyboards Magdalena Lee - soprano voice Kimmo Blom - backing vocals Luca Sturniolo - backing vocals Sami Boman - orchestrations Timo Tolkki's official website Frontiers Records Avalon page

Nikolaiviertel

Founded about 1200, the Nikolaiviertel of Alt-Berlin, together with the neighbouring settlement of Cölln, is the reconstructed historical heart of the German capital Berlin. It is located in Mitte five minutes away from Alexanderplatz. Situated on the eastern shore of the river Spree, it is bounded by the streets Rathausstraße, Spandauer Straße and Mühlendamm; the deconsecrated Nikolaikirche, Berlin's oldest church, gives its name to the neighbourhood and lies at its centre. The two settlements of Old Berlin as well as Cölln on the other side of the Spree originated along an old trade route, the Mühlendamm, a ford where the river could be crossed; the Nicholas' Church a late Romanesque basilica, was erected about 1230. The area around the church with its medieval alleys in the main had been preserved throughout the centuries, until it was destroyed by the air raids and the Battle of Berlin during World War II. At Berlin's 750th anniversary in 1987 the house-building was restored in a peculiar mixture of reconstructed historic houses and concrete slab Plattenbau blocks, giving the area an unmistakable appearance.

Today the small area is famous for its traditional German bars. Beside the Nicholas' Church, the best-known building of the quarter is the Ephraim-Palais, built in 1766 for Veitel-Heine Ephraim, the financier of King Frederick II of Prussia; the Rococo façade at the intersection of Mühlendamm and Poststraße became famous as Berlin's "finest corner", until the house was demolished in 1936 for the laying out of the enlarged Mühlendamm street. Parts of the façade were stored in the western outskirts of Berlin, West Berlin authorities delivered them to East Berlin's magistrate in 1982 to support the reconstruction; the palace was rebuilt between 1987, about 12 meters away from its original site. Today it serves as a museum. On the other side of the Poststraße is the Knoblauchhaus from 1760, with a neoclassical façade from the 19th century. One of the few preserved historic original buildings, it was the residence of the notable Knoblauch family with members like the architect Eduard Knoblauch or the physicist Karl-Hermann Knoblauch.

It is home of the oldest civic museum of Berlin. On the banks of the Spree river stands the red sandstone Kurfürstenhaus, erected in 1897 at the site of an older building, where Elector John Sigismund of Brandenburg died on December 23, 1619; as he believed a White Lady haunted the Stadtschloss, he had fled to the home of his valet. German Democratic Republic Postmodernist Housing Estate Gunter Stahn, East Berlin, 1987 Postmodernism was meant to be something that happened only in the west – “the cultural logic of late capitalism”, as Fredric Jameson called it, an “end of history” style to accompany the triumph of neoliberalism and privatisation. Curiously, many of its ideas – for example, the view that modernism ignores the desires of the masses – were anticipated under Stalin in the 1930s, some Soviet satellite states were early adopters of postmodernism; the German Democratic Republic had one of the largest industrialised housing programmes seen, in which everything was made out of mass-produced concrete panels.

This is referenced in the Nikolaiviertel, a large postmodernist housing estate in the centre of Berlin, which emulates the scale and style of old Berlin using the same corrugated concrete components as a suburban tower-block estate. The result is bizarre and rather enjoyable. Concrete arcades fan out from the restored Nikolaikirche, with concrete gables, concrete columns and archways, all made from the familiar panels. Pass through those archways, you could be in any estate anywhere in east-central Europe, with children's playgrounds and trees surrounded by concrete blocks. A relief sculpture on one facade depicts the history of the German workers’ movement, culminates with workers constructing tower blocks from the same panels, it seems like a strange way to imagine the forward march of labour – and we all know what happened two years after its construction – but suggests that the communist economy and ideology had more potential for irony and adaptation than we might give it credit for. Here is the first, last, state-socialist housing scheme, intended to be funny.

• Owen Hatherley's Landscapes of Communism is published by Allen Lane. Https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jun/20/palaces-for-the-people-five-communist-buildings History of Berlin berlin-nikolaiviertel.com