City Spires & Towers #6

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The future skies….
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The Scapel’s name says it all. The one that cuts the skies up….
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Those once thought the tops reflected in the windows of the new conquistadors.
The spires of old were meant to solve our problems by way of meeting the human minds with the skies, where some of us had believed human destinies lay.
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The old ways of dominating the skies are over. St Helens overshadowed by the Undershaft’s many towers.
The towers of now – the ones that too will become old fashioned, passe – are meant to solve our problems by way of bringing great minds together up in the skies where some of us still believe human destiny lies.
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City Towers with a bit of spire in the corner….
Skyscraper is a word that evolved in the 1880s and described a building perhaps ten storeys high. Now we are talking about floors in the hundreds in some parts of the world. The Burj has over 160 floors. Our own Shard has 95, just five from a hundred. And both structures can be considered by their very shapes a superior form of spire.
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The old idea was to build smaller once the skies were reached. Now the idea is to build bigger the more we get up there!
Church spires were originally built with the lightest materials that could be found in order to enable them to reach higher and higher. And then they got bigger too, using materials in clever ways to sustain the heights and not allow them to buckle under their massive weight. So we get the domes and enormous structures seen in our own St Pauls’, Paris’ Sacré-Cœur, Cologne Cathedral and others – far too many others to name.
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All the old ideas, concepts, overshadowed by the new. Hierarchies re-invent themselves constantly as a new future.
We can say the skills of our church builders of old, including masters such as Wren who built at least sixty of the City’s churches, as well as the centrepiece, St Paul’s, have been creators whose skills counted up the various steps towards which we now have the skills to build bigger and bigger and higher and higher, the more clever and complicated the arrangement of the materials, even the thinner the materials and the more exquisite ways in which the spaces are utilised, then our buildings get lighter and stronger. And that of course means we can go higher.
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One day we wont even need these ghastly cranes. Nanobots will do the job.
If we want, we could build right out into space. We have the beginnings of the technology and the necessary materials are now on the way, including nanofibres, graphene and a host of other super strong materials currently under development (plus others that are in the infancy of development) and these, along with totally new forms of construction that we will develop, will ensure that reaching the upper echelons of our skies is not any sort of impossibility at all.
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We’ve already crowded out the skies, indeed space with thousands and thousands of tons of satellites, rockets, space stations, many of which have now ended their work and just clutter up the hallways…. But that doesn’t mean once we get our buildings up right there that will be the end of it all. Oh no!
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They’re coming! St Edmund’s no longer a king?
Eventually we will have cities in the skies, floating un-tethered, people teleported from the ground up. And the more the skies get crowded the more we can inch our cities up towards space where there’s still a little bit of room left. Probably have to introduce artificial gravity at some point 🙂
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St Andrews Undershaft competes with some of London’s tallest for real sky estate.
Just a note. These pictures of London’s increasing cluttered skies around the City which I have taken over the past few months I choose specially to illustrate this post, which was created as I had lost momentum on a lot of things, and its just a way of getting the City Spires & Towers series (like the rest of my blog) back on track after a substantial period of illness….
They say the sky’s the limit, but remember, space is right out there and that’s not any sort of limit 🙂
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My next post in this series will look at the spires/towers in the eastern part of the City of London, here’s St Olaves.
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And this is St Katherine Cree with its new neighbours, the Scapel and Cheesegrater.

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