Book Review: Concrete Montreal Map

Map by France Vanlaethem (Blue Crow Media, 2019)

While hard-copy maps may seem retrograde in the age of smartphones, they’re still an invaluable tool for architectural tourism. Part map, part stripped-down guidebook, Concrete Montreal documents some 50 landmarks, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s, when concrete was the material
of choice for a generation of Quebec architects.

The publication includes bare-bones information on each building—an address, the name of the architects, and the years of construction—and 19 enlivening photos by Raphaël Thibodeau. The map itself is graphically abstracted to include building masses and subway stops, although not street names. You may, ultimately, need to break out that smartphone to find the recommended buildings.

Concrete Montreal is part of a series of architecture and design maps (all equally thoughtful
in their curation and design) created by a small UK-based publisher. The series also includes the map Concrete Toronto.

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