Silver at the heart of futurism

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.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza WIKIPEDIA MASSYPARCER inusite
Dongdaemun Design Plaza – Wikipedia Attribution Share-Alike Massyparcer

Inaugurated in March 2014, le Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a multi-purpose complex in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. It contains exhibition halls, a design centre, conference rooms and amphitheatres. The colour silver is everywhere in the design. It has a completely futuristic design.

Khan Shatyr – iStockphoto

The Khan Shatyr entertainment centre is the biggest tent in the world. The indoor space is equal to more than ten football fields. Inaugurated in 2006 in Kazakhstan, the building contains shops, a beach resort, cobbled streets and even a summer resort. Here, silver runs down the slopes of the tent.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao – iStockphoto

Inaugurated in 1997, the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has its share of silver. Not only do its silver panels reflect the rays of the sun, but it also reflects the water in the port.

With its outstanding and truly innovative style, the Bilbao museum has long been seen as the most futuristic building on the planet, given its organic and flowing shapes. It is often said that tourists go there to contemplate the silver building and not the works of art it contains.

Let’s wave the flag a bit. Here in Quebec, a building has marked the history of contemporary architecture. At the time it was described as futuristic. Yet, we will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Biosphere – iStockphoto

It’s the American Pavilion from Expo 67, known as the Biosphere today. Like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, tourists from around the world lined up at the time to admire the silver ball. It was the most visited pavilion at Expo.

What colour is One World Trade Centre, newly built on the ruins of September 2001 in New York? Silver, of course. The building unabashedly flirts with futurism. The team behind its design is the same one that designed the Burj Khalifa. Coincidence?

If you like silver, you will probably get your money’s worth in the coming years. Not because other colours in the spectrum are absent, but because silver will shine for a long time to come.


English Wikipedia article on Burj Khalifa
English Wikipedia article on Dongdaemun Design Plaza
English Wikipedia article on Khan Shatyr
French Wikipedia article on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
French Wikipedia article on the Montreal Biosphere
English Wikipedia article on One World Trade Centre