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Five things to do today: 30 January

Spanish Death Star - The Rest is Noise - small projects - dirty Norway - $7bn project

Spanish Death Star
Madrid is building a vast new convention centre (pictured) whose facade will be made entirely of solar panels. Designed by Mansilla+Tunon and more than 100m tall, the building will be shaped like a solar lens (or the Death Star, or a golf ball, depending on your perspective).

The Rest is Noise
Buy The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross - this ambitious history of 20th-century music made it into the top books of 2008 lists in the Guardian, FT and Time. His blog is worth a look too.

Small projects
See this year's shortlisted AJ Small Projects - an exhibition of architecture built for a contract value of less than £250,000 - at New London Architecture, London WC1 until 26 February.

Dirty Norway
Check out this revealing Economist article about Norway's dirty environmental record. 'For all its environmental piety, Norway is also a prodigious polluter. Its greenhouse-gas emissions have grown 15 per cent since it adopted the carbon tax.'

$7bn project
The various architectural teams behind Saudi Arabia’s $7bn Knowledge Economic City describe their experiences - which seem to have been largely positive.

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