Photo Essay


Surreality 71

The icy cold and gray morning of January 16th, was the beginning of Day 3 of my trip south from Detroit. The storm that was supposed to be bad, wasn't so bad. There was ice by the roads but not on the roads. Still, it was a bleak day.

I was moving along Tennessee state road 48 going south, about 30 or so miles from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I left Detroit to get some sunlight and warmth but the weather had not been my friend. So I moved along.

I wondered what the day would bring. I had a full tank of gas and I was still enjoying my first cup of road coffee, when I saw this surreal sight...

Montgomery Central High School in Cunningham, Tennessee.

The domes are of a thin shell concrete construction sitting on a man-made lake. The thin shell of concrete needs no interior columns or exterior buttresses and allows large areas to be spanned with curved shapes.

This is not a new construction technique. The earliest known concrete shell was the dome on the Pantheon, built in 126 AD. Another famous but more recent thin shell concrete construction is the Sydney Opera House.

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