Life In The Metro : At The Block Arcade

Life In The Metro (Post#5) : At The Block Arcade

Because of its interior design, I can understand why people loves to stroll inside this arcade. I myself can’t stop to be amaze when I was walking here. I had previous post of the arcade where can be found >>> here <<< where photos captured at night from one of my walking adventure in the city . This photo was part of The Block Arcade Photo Collection July 2013 during Open House Melbourne event.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Vestige of Old Hospital But Now A Women’s Pride

Another more than century old and historical building that I had a chance to tour during Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 was Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It was built in 1848 as Melbourne Hospital and undergone different era (different names) which become part of the colorful history.

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Here’s a bit history of the building.

Former “The Melbourne Hospital”

When it was opened in 1848, the building become older than the Victoria state since Victoria just separated from New South Wales in 1851. Even though started on its humble beginnings, the hospital grew and become the famous The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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Old The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Photo courtesy of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Organization

Former “The Royal Melbourne Hospital” (1912-1944)

Melbourne Hospital has been rebuilt due to demands are growing tremendously as the city of Melbourne became populous. After it was rebuilt, the building changed its name to The Royal Melbourne Hospital. At that time, the hospital occupied the entire city block bound by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets which shows how the hospital is really huge shown from photo above.

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Entire Block has been occupied

Former “The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital” (1944-1987)

When The Royal Melbourne Hospital move to another site, the building was occupied by The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital wherein based in history, the work pioneered were more on women’s and children’s health.

Current “Queen Victoria Women’s Centre” (1986 – present)

The only building left which supposed to be for demolition is Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. The rest of the building has refurbished and become commercial space. The building still standing today because women in Victoria fight and claim the site. And with that I got a chance to see this building that main goal is all for women like me.

The Building Tour

I was walking along Lonsdale Street to see if I can still discover another building before I end my Saturday. And there I found Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It attracted me as I thought that its another historical building based on its exterior design. I crossed the road and went inside the building.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

I decided to visit the building as I know that I had more than an hour left before the event be over for the day. During the open house event, the building’s ground floor, rooftop and 4th level with balcony had been open to the public.

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At the hallway, I found exhibits in both sides to enjoy. Then, I went straight to the rooftop as I followed other visitors. It still kind of refreshing to be in a rooftop of the building again even though I had been in Council House 2 rooftop, though QVWC (Queen Victoria Women’s Centre) has just 4 floors and not so high, visitors and myself still enjoyed the scenery. At the rooftop I saw the dome of State Library of Victoria not far from the building,  some view of the city from the top and the two cupolas of the building.

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State Library of Victoria Dome

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Cupolas closely visible at the rooftop

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Street View

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At the Rooftop

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4th Level of QVWC – The Original Ward

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Model of the building

After touring the building, I ended my day with lots of learning and discovery. This is one of the reasons I love Melbourne, the city has rich history through its building. The event helped me understand how the city developed to the way it is now.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Queen Victoria Women’s Centre ?
Address : 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia

Ground Floor with Exhibits are open to public during opening hours 9:00am – 5:00pm / Mon – Fri

If you really wanted to see other parts of the building for free, the right opportunity is during Open House Melbourne which happens in one weekend of July every year, to check if the building is participating in Open House Melbourne event please check here.

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street or Stop 8 Melbourne Central Station Route

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station or Melbourne Central Station

From Flinders Street Station, get off at St Kilda Road Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned right at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.

From Melbourne Central Station, get off at Swantons Street Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned left at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.

Chromatic Outlook – Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Exhibition Space

Chromatic Outlook (Post#32) – Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Exhibition Space

One of the thing that I discovered in this building is it offers space at a low-cost for women and women’s organization to exhibit and sell their work which is really an admirable objective. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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Structure : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Structure (Post#10) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

The building itself survive over a century and has been part of colourful history of Melbourne Hospital now The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. Supposed to be for demolition but because of women’s organization, this historical building still survive. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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Chromatic Outlook : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Original Hospital Ward

Chromatic Outlook (Post#31) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Original Hospital Ward

During Open House Melbourne event, part of the building that were open to public is the original hospital ward (Victoria Room) and balcony on level 4. Victoria Room still have its large heritage windows, currently being used for events, lectures and performances. Here are some snapshots in the ward. The snapshots are part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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View At My Window : State Library of Victoria Dome

View At My Window (Post#23) : State Library of Victoria Dome

From the rooftop of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, the famous State Library of Victoria is visible. Such grand roof of the building means one thing, how important the building is at the time its being built. I had a chance to visit the building and had a glimpse some part of it, please check my post here for the said building. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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Melbourne Town Hall – A Majestic Building with Politics and Culture Fusion

After visiting Council House 2 or CH2, the next building that I visited was Melbourne Town Hall. It was one of the biggest building that I had visited during the Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 and it was one of the building that I enjoyed because I had a chance to see what’s inside of it. I used to pass the town hall every time I traveled back and forth along Swanston Street before but only during the event that I had a chance to see it up close.

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Melbourne Town Hall

Hallways

When I entered the building from Swanston Street, the hallway immediately impressed me. I felt that I stepped back in time because all the things that I saw were scenery from modern 18th century time. From the carpet that I walked-in, to the artifacts displayed between walls, to its lightnings and ceilings and to its doors that I passed to see a specific room. I just a hallway but I really enjoyed it.

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Interesting things that I saw here  was the caption of one of the keys being displayed along the hallway, the capital city of my country which is Manila. Below was snapshot, a key of City of Manila.

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Council Chambers

The first room that I entered to see was Council Chambers Room. I immediately got curious when I saw the room even I was still standing in the door. There were many visitors like myself explored the room. Anyone can sense that it was a meeting room, because of the way a semi-circular tiered seating arranged and where the Lord Mayor’s chair and table stands. I spent sometime here because I wanted to get my chance to sit in the Lord Mayor’s chair to have my souvenir in the room.

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Photos inside Council Chambers

Yarra Room

Next room that I visited was Yarra Room which was a former Council Chamber for the city. Another room that showcases how grandeur Melbourne Town Hall is.

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Photos inside Yarra Room

Main Hall and Balcony

The jewel of Melbourne Town Hall goes to this grandiose main hall where it also host one of the most beautiful, romantic and the largest pipe organ in southern hemisphere. This is largest and most glamorous room within the town hall where majority of events happening which includes orchestras, choirs, multimedia launches, symposium, meetings, weddings, party’s and a lot more.

When I visited the main hall, there was scheduled organ playing but I haven’t got a chance to listened most of it as I still wanted to explore other parts of the town hall.

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Largest Pipe Organ in Southern Hemisphere

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Interiors and balcony of Main Hall

Melbourne Room

Another historic room exist in the town hall is Melbourne Room. This  is the room where Queen Elizabeth II has been served with tea in 1954. I had few photos in this room due to a lot of people around, it was difficult to get panoramic shot inside the room.

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Some photos of Melbourne Room

Portico Room

Another historical part of the town hall and maybe famous to some people is its Portico and Balcony. It was the impressive portico where Beattles and ABBA waved to their fans during their visit in the city.

When I was standing here, I had a chance to see some part of CBD, in front of Melbourne Town Hall at the other side of Swanston Street is Manchester Unity Building and Melbourne City Square can be found at the left side of the building along Collins Street. I  had read some stuff about the  first proposed location of the town hall and it was far from where it stands, and because of the debate  for its location it was built in the heart of Melbourne CBD.

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Snapshots while at the Portico

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Melbourne Town Hall ?
Address : 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Free Tours : Available during weekdays, for more details and its schedule, please check here

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 11 – Town Hall / Collins Street or Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street
Route: 112, 109, 48 –> get off at Stop 6 –  Town Hall / Collins Street

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station or Melbourne Central Station

From Flinders Street Station, get off at St Kilda Road Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and the building is within the corner of Swanton Street and Collins Street.

From Melbourne Central Station, get off at Swantons Street Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and the building is at the left side of Swanston Street corner Collins Street.

Structure : Melbourne Town Hall

Structure (Post#9) : Melbourne Town Hall

One of the noticeable building at the heart of Melbourne CBD is Melbourne Town Hall which built in 1867. The building has its grandeur architectural design not only because of its impressive exterior style but also because it composed of many rooms that displays how majestic the town hall itself. The photo is part of Melbourne Town Hall Photo Collection 2013.

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Still Expression : Melbourne Town Hall – Organ Playing

Still Expression (Post#5) : Melbourne Town Hall – Organ Playing

During my visit in Melbourne Town Hall’s Main Hall, there is someone playing the historical and largest organ pipe in southern hemisphere. Piano or organ playing was once my dream to be. The photo is part of Melbourne Town Hall Photo Collection 2013.

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Interior : Melbourne Town Hall – Main Hall

Interior (Post#7) : Melbourne Town Hall – Main Hall

I can probably say that the Main Hall or auditorium of Melbourne Town Hall is the grandest and most impressive room of all. It is the largest room which can handle at least 2000 people for an event. This hall is also hosting the historical and largest pipe in southern hemisphere. I admired this room not only because of the pipe organ which is the jewel of the room and the town hall itself, but because of the grandeur of the interior of the hall. I felt that the design of the room is already a proof of its more than a century history. By just looking on its eye-catching decorated ceilings and magnificent chandeliers, anyone will be amazed. And when I moved to another seat just to see the whole balcony and the walls with drawing designs, all of it depicts how grand the room is. These photos are part of Melbourne Town Hall Photo Collection 2013.

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Pipe Organ (Largest in Southern Hemisphere)

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Ceilings, Chandeliers and Stencil Walls

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Ceilings

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Stencil Walls

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Balcony

Interior : Melbourne Town Hall – Yarra Room

Interior (Post#6) : Melbourne Town Hall – Yarra Room

Another room to see inside Melbourne Town Hall is Yarra Room. This room again displays how impressive and elegant the town hall is. It can accommodate up to maximum of 150 people if the event is cocktail. Historically, it is a former Council Chamber of the city. These photos are part of Melbourne Town Hall Photo Collection 2013.

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Interior : Melbourne Town Hall – Council Chambers

Interior (Post#5) : Melbourne Town Hall – Council Chambers

One of the impressive room to be found inside Melbourne Town Hall is Council Chambers which is part before of old city court. The room showcases how the ceilings has been beautifully decorated, how refined the wood panels has been carved and how glass windows has been colored and drawn its mallet used by H.R.H the Duke of Edinburgh to lay the foundation stone of the town hall in 1867. Overall, the room is categorized as combination of Italian and English Renaissance style. These photos are part of Melbourne Town Hall Photo Collection 2013.

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Council Chambers

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Ornate Ceilings

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Carved Wood Panelling

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Stained Glass with Mallet of H.R.H the Duke of Edinburgh

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Council House 2 (CH2) – Australia’s First Six Star Green Star Rating Building

I was walking in Little Collins Street towards Swanston Street, when I found that Council House 2 was part of event because of the Open House Melbourne Flag stands on its ground which a common sign to recognize if the building is participating in the event.

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At Little Collins Street towards Swanston Street, CH2 Building at the right

During the Open House Melbourne event, I learned that there is an existing green building located almost at the heart of Melbourne CBD, I am talking about none other than Council House 2 or CH2 building. This stands along Little Collins Street near Swanston Street. Based on history, before CH2 was built, there was a dated building that was nearing its end lifespan. And because of it, the ambitious plan to build a new office building started and that was how the idea of CH2 begun.

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Council House 2 (CH2)

One of the great discovery or learning that I had about this building was, CH2 is the first purpose-built office building in Australia to achieve the six star Green Star certified rating, where the minimum is one star and the maximum is six. And the more profound about it was, the building was designed even before the Green Star rating system and Green Star Design office has been launched.

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While listening to facilitator that explaining the feature of the building

During the event, the building opens to the public the ground floor foyer, level 6, level 8 offices and roof top terrace. When I visited the building, there were couple of guides at the entrance and near the elevator to inform us that we have to go to the designated floors for the event. I can’t remember anymore which floor I was assigned and attended with other visitors to had our introductions and to listen to the features of the building. One thing that I felt while listening was my adoration that they will spend money to design a building to become a green building.  But, in the explanation of the speaker, I realized, the building is sustainable on its own, as its main feature are reduction on energy and water consumption which actually one of the main expenses of a building. I remembered how the building is flexible because it can adjust to the season of Melbourne, both for summer and winter season where energy is mostly used, and with that said it able to take advantage the season to even save energy and water resources.

While listening to the speaker, one thing that call my attention in the office building were the indoor plants located almost in each table desk and surrounding area, the speaker explained that the plants even help to maintain the good quality of the air inside the office. I was pretty much amazed, I felt like I want to work in similar environment, because I myself contained in an office where no fresh air is circulating because the whole building is closed and the air from human myself and from ventilation are the air that I am breathing, but CH2 allows air from the outside.

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Office hallway

After well explanation of the features of the building, we were guided to go to the rooftop of the building, here I got a chance to see the inner view of the city from the top which I haven’t done before while I was in Melbourne. The rooftop has garden and there we saw as well the huge turbines that has the important role in making the building as efficient in its cooling, heating and even in energy conservation.

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Rooftop of CH2

While I was in the rooftop, I wish and dream that there was similar building back home in my country, wished if they also consider in creating a green building. In Melbourne, if this kind of building already exist, I can see that it’s already changing the game in developing new buildings, maybe it’s not the same as CH2 but most likely, partial of the design of the building will be inherited as its design has so many benefits to the building and its occupants.

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Inner view of the city from CH2 Rooftop

Truly the CH2 building is a green building. A worthwhile visit in one the buildings in Melbourne.

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Council House 2 or CH2 ?
Address : 240 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
The building is not open to public in a daily basis as the building is an office building, but if you really wanted to see inside of it, the right opportunity is during Open House Melbourne which happens in one weekend of July every year, to check if the building is participating in Open House Melbourne event please check here.

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 11 – Town Hall / Collins Street or Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street
Route: 112, 109, 48 –> get off at Stop 6 –  Town Hall / Collins Street

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station or Melbourne Central Station
From Flinders Street Station, get off at St Kilda Road Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned right at Little Collins Street.

From Melbourne Central Station, get off at Swantons Street Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned left at Little Collins Street.

Discovery : Council House 2 (CH2) – Turbines

Discovery (Post#10) : Council House 2 (CH2) – Turbines

If windows of the buildings helps to replace hot air during night purge and concrete ceilings helps to keep the environment cooler for specific time, these turbines that are visible up close at the rooftop of the building helps to withdraw the hot air coming from the inside if too much heat received by the building. These turbines also generates certain amount of energy to be used again by the building. These photos are part of Council House 2 Photo Collection captured last July 2013.

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Discovery : Council House 2 (CH2) – Vaulted Concrete Ceilings

Discovery (Post#9) : Council House 2 (CH2) – Vaulted Concrete Ceilings

The vaulted concrete ceilings of each floor in Council House 2 building has its purpose on its own. These concrete ceilings provides cooling ventilation in a specific time of the day to maintain the comfortable temperature inside the offices. How does these concrete ceilings able to do that? As Council House 2 has its night purge which happens at 1AM up to 5AM, where windows are open to cool down the internal air and thick concrete ceilings to release the heat that it received during the day, since concrete ceilings has been cooled during night purge, it keep the cool temperature in the morning until noon which is a natural process of cooling system. A very cheap way to cool the environment. These photos are part of Council House 2 Photo Collection captured last July 2013.

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Discovery : Council House 2 (CH2) Windows

Discovery (Post#8) : Council House 2 (CH2) Windows

During my tour within this building, I learned one of the best feature that this building has to offer compared with other regular office building not only in Melbourne but probably in the world is its windows. The building windows has double glaze, it has timber window frames (where timber is known as lower conductor heat to lessen the ‘heat bridge’ effect).

Head Bridge Effect – A thermal bridge, also called a cold bridge or heat bridge, is an area of an object (frequently a building) which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials resulting in an overall reduction in thermal insulation of the object or building. Reference: Wikipedia

There are recycled timber shutters as well that protects the building from the late afternoon sun, enable views out of the building and natural light to enter the building.  Other windows at the other side (no photos available) participates in nightly purge (opens at night until morning) to release the heat inside the building.

The western facade windows (second picture) with plants shown below has been designed as well to able to provide natural lights which participate in conserving the energy cost that the building will pay. What a brilliant idea !!! These photos are part of Council House 2 Photo Collection captured last July 2013.

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Structure : The Melbourne Athenaeum

Structure (Post#8) : The Melbourne Athenaeum

The building is former Mechanic’s Institute and also called as The Athenaeum. This is a combination of Library, Museum and Art Gallery, Meeting Places and even a Live Theatre. This structure is almost as old as Melbourne since it’s the home of oldest public institution. This photo captured last July 2013 and part of The Melbourne Athenaeum Photo Collection.

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Something To Look At : The Athenaeum – A Bit of History Through A Stone

Something To Look At (Post#4) : The Athenaeum – A Bit of History Through A Stone

The snapshot below depicts important years in the history of The Melbourne Athenaeum building. The Athenaeum which is another name of the building is significantly been part of Melbourne History as it serves specific first things in the city itself. I was totally amazed when I realized how really old the building is and just thinking that it will soon celebrate its second centennial on 2039. This photo captured last July 2013 and part of The Melbourne Athenaeum Photo Collection.

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