Standing tall and shining brightly in the heart of Brussels is the Atomium, a peculiar architectural spectacle that captivates the eyes of every onlooker. This marvelous structure, often hailed as a symbol of Brussels, serves as an intriguing fusion of architecture and science, bearing an unmistakable testimony to the post-war era in which it was created.
The Atomium, designed by the talented architect André Waterkeyn, began its life on the drawing board in 1958. Inspired by the Atomic Age and the faith in scientific progress, Waterkeyn envisioned a structure that would symbolize a positive and forward-thinking mindset. As a testament to his unique vision, the Atomium took shape in the form of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.
The construction of this iconic structure commenced in 1957, with its grand opening taking place a year later, in 1958, during the Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58). Aided by the architects André and Jean Polak, Waterkeyn managed to bring his vision to life with a budget of 61 million Belgian francs, which translates to approximately €1.5 million today.
Spanning over a total floor area of about 240 square meters, the Atomium stands majestically at a height of 102 meters. This monumental building, made from steel and clad in aluminum, embodies the Modernist architectural style. It is a structure that truly appreciates the principles of form following function, with an aesthetic design heavily influenced by its scientific representation.
As one steps inside this molecular marvel, it’s as if they’ve entered a futuristic world. The Atomium is composed of nine interconnected spheres, each with a diameter of 18 meters, symbolizing an iron atom’s nine electrons. Six of these spheres are open to the public, housing permanent and temporary exhibitions related to the sciences, design, and society. The structure serves as an impressive exhibition space and a museum, recounting the history of the 1958 Exposition and the optimistic futurism of the era it represents.
The topmost sphere offers a panoramic view of the city of Brussels, a sight that never fails to mesmerize visitors. Not only this, but one of the spheres also hosts a restaurant, allowing visitors to indulge in a gastronomic experience while they admire the panoramic vistas of the Belgian capital.
The Atomium is nestled in the heart of Brussels at Square de l’Atomium, 1020 Brussels, Belgium. For those planning a visit, the Atomium opens its doors from 10 am to 6 pm every day, ensuring ample time for visitors to explore and appreciate this unique architectural marvel.
The Atomium is more than just an architectural structure; it’s a testament to human ambition, a symbol of the Atomic Age, and an emblem of Brussels. Its grandeur and significance make it an essential stop for anyone visiting the Belgian capital. It’s not just the sight of the Atomium that’s awe-inspiring, but the experience of being inside, surrounded by the history and optimism of a bygone era, is equally captivating.
Further Information About The Atomium In Brussels
Date Construction started: 1957
Date Opened: 25 march 1958
Architect: André Waterkeyn
Architectural style: Modern architecture
Size or floor area: 102 meters height
Function or purpose: Center piece for Expo
Address: Pl. de l’Atomium 1, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
Phone number: +32 2 475 47 75
Monday 10 am–6 pm
Tuesday 10 am–6 pm
Wednesday 10 am–6 pm
Thursday 10 am–6 pm
Friday 10 am–6 pm
Saturday 10 am–6 pm
Sunday 10 am–6 pm