Tag Archives: Montréal

Silver at the heart of futurism

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Burj Khalifa – iStockphoto

Those who are passionate about futuristic architecture are very familiar with silver, this grey that is clearer than classic grey. Maybe they venerate it. It’s because this colour is closely linked with the most innovative constructions of the last few years. Why? Because most of them are composed of stainless steel, and sometimes titanium and aluminium, all metals that emit a silvery shimmer.

Chrome, which is used in stainless steel alloys to prevent corrosion, gives steel its silver sheen.

We took a look at futuristic projects that are in the construction phase: homes, apartment buildings, museums, hotels. Stainless steel and glass are omnipresent.

To help you imagine the buildings that will soon see the light of day, let’s look at more recent buildings. There are too many for us to name them all, but here are the most spectacular:

In Dubai, the silver of the Burj Khalifa bursts under the dessert sun. This architectural extravagance of this Persian Gulf country, which you see in the photo, has a strong futuristic accent. At 828 meters, the highest human structure ever built, the building projects shiny silver, steel and glass in the sky of the Arab country. Continue reading

Yes, they are libraries

The closest one to us is the John P. Robarts Research Library, on the campus of the University of Toronto. It has been given a fitting nickname: the Fort Book.

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Toronto University John P. Robarts Research Library. Photo: iStockphoto

The massive tower that rises in front of the main façade looks a lot like a pillar of defence. The use of concrete as the primary material enhances the effect of mass. The building has been used as a stand-in in movies for a prison, a zombie-infested space and a crossing point for extraterrestrials.

A caveat however: You will notice the numerous vertical lines that draw the eyes upward. Since the windows are also vertical, a Wikipedia article refers to the building as if it “transported the scholars anxious to escape the noise and turmoil of the vulgar press into a dream palace enshrining its holy mysteries.”

Continuing with the strange and mysterious, have you read Umberto Eco’s In the Name of the Rose? He wrote a good part of this classic detective story in this library. According to Wikipedia, he used the library as inspiration to describe the secret library in his novel. Continue reading