The new Library of Birmingham on Centenary Square is an iconic and futuristic building that was opened in September 2013 to replace the old Birmingham Central Library. I went there on a sunny day to photograph the building and, in particular, the facade detail of metal rings mounted in front of the glass wall.
The first of the two images above is a head-on view of the structure showing the pattern of bright small and dark large interwoven circles. But looking up from behind gives a near abstract view without clearly revealing the nature of the structure leaving the viewer wondering what they are looking at.
Changing the direction of view to include the reflection of the circles in the glass wall allows us to see the two-layered construction of the metal rings and shows how the illusion of interwoven complete circles has been achieved. Note the shadows in the foreground, slightly at odds with the otherwise symmetrical image. Finally, looking in a perfectly vertical direction changes the appearance completely, creating the impression that the horizontal and vertical planes have been exchanged.
I had great fun taking these pictures, especially the ones looking straight up and getting a stiff neck in the process was a price well paying. I did, however, attract a few curious looks from passers by: "What is he looking at?". Well, these images answer that question.
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