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fr a nça is • nederlands • e n gl i s h Ne peut être vendu. Ne pas jeter sur la voie publique. Mag niet verkocht worden. Niet op de openbare weg werpen. Not to be sold. Not to be disposed of on the public highway.


Ce guide appartient à Deze gids behoort toe aan This guidebook belongs to

J’ai visité l’Atomium le Ik heb het Atomium bezocht op I visited the Atomium on

En compagnie de In het gezelschap van Accompanied by


VISITORS’ GUIDE

the tour VISIT Part 1 : the panorama LEVELS 0 & 7 - VIA LIFT

Part 2 : EXHIBITIONS LEVELS 1-2-3-4-5-6 : STAIRS & escalators

LEVEL 8

8

Toilets

Restaurant

7

FOR HIRE

Waterkeyn Room

5 4 FOR HIRE

CHILDREN’S SPHERE

3

Prigogine Room

Accessible only to primary schools (booking required or during scheduled activities)

6

2 1 TERRACE

ENTRANCE

0

Sandwiches & drinks

EXIT

ticket office

Via the shop

Audio-guides Toilets

VISIT / PART 1: THE PANORAMA [LEVELS 0 & 7 - VIA LIFT]

0

MAIN HALL [LIFT / ESCALATORS / SHOP]

VISIT / PART 2: EXHIBITIONS [LEVELS 1 > 6: STAIRS]

1

PERMANENT EXHIBITION

5

TEMPORARY EXHIBITION

VISIT / PART 2: EXHIBITIONS [LEVELS 1 > 6: ESCALATORS]

2

PERMANENT EXHIBITION

6

VIEWPOINT

OFF THE tour

3

TEMPORARY EXHIBITION

7

360° PANORAMA & toilets

TICKETS / ENTRANCE / SHOP / TERRACE

4

TEMPORARY EXHIBITION

8

Restaurant

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

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VISITORS’ GUIDE

THE MAGIC OF ARCHITECTURE. THE JOY OF CULTURE.

ticket office Before starting your visit, make yourself familiar with the content and operation of the audio-guides. For this, listen to item 501 on your audio-guide.

Welcome to the Atomium! Everyone in the Atomium team is delighted to welcome you to this building which is one of the most Belgian of all buildings and hopes that you will enjoy your time with us.This is the first edition of the visitors’ guide and is designed to enhance your visit and provide more information about the various subjects on display. To add to the information provided in this guide, in particular with contemporary interviews and sound clips, you can hire an audio-guide in your language from the ticket office. At the end of the guide, you will find space in which you can record your memories of the Atomium, your visit to Brussels or any other subject of importance to you. It has been designed as an object which travellers can keep, carry with them, cherish and scribble on. Make good use of it – it’s yours!

Did you know?

The guide is our gift to you.

The Atomium has been a symbol of progress and modernity since 1958, being firmly devoted to male-female equality in terms of its staffing and management (a female Chairperson, a male Director, a female Assistant Director and a male Assistant Director).

The outstanding monument from the Universal Exhibition of 1958, the Atomium is and remains open to the world, starting with a cosmopolitan staff which perfectly reflects the characteristic diversity and multi-culturalism of the people of Brussels.

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

7

10 9

1

3

2

8

4

5

15

Did you know?

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A bright icon in the sky over Brussels: it’s not a tower nor a pyramid, partly cubic, partly spherical, half-way between sculpture and architecture, a resolutely futuristic reminder of our past, a museum and a place of exhibitions, the Atomium is at once and at the same time an object, a place, a utopia and an emblem unique in the world, resisting any form of classification.

Whatever we may think of it, the unique shape of the Atomium has always been striking and is well known throughout the world. Many internet sites list the Atomium as the leader among buildings which defy classification, the most surprising, creative and astonishing building in the world. Here is a brief glimpse of what we mean.


VISITORS’ GUIDE

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11 12 13 18

19 16 17

20

01. USAF Academy Cadet Chapel El Paso - USA 02. Library Kansas City - USA 03. Longaberger Basket office Newark - USA 04. Wonderworks Museum Pigeon Forge - usa 05. Nautilus House Mexico City - mexico

06. Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida Brasilia - brazil 07. Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavik - iceland 08. Casa Pedro Guimarães - Portugal 09. Cubic houses [Kubus Woningen] Rotterdam - netherlands 10. Hundertwasser House Darmstadt - Germany

11. Crazy House [Kryzwy Domek] Sopot - poland 12. Dancing House Prague - czech republic 13. Universalmuseum Joanneum Graz - austria 14. House Sutyagin Archangelsk - Russia 15. Grand Mosque Djenné - Mali

16. Great Library of Alexandria Alexandria - Egypt 17. Lotus Temple New Delhi - India 18. Tianzi Hotel Sanhe - China 19. Piano House Huainan - China 20. Hang Nga Guesthouse Da Lat - Vietnam 21. Sydney Opera House Australia

21

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Did you know?

VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

Figures to astonish you The building

The Atomium represents an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times, in the form of a centred cube standing on one of its corners. The complete Atomium is made up of 9 • • • • • • • • •

spheres (1 at each vertex plus 1 central sphere), connected together by 20 tubes (12 edges and 2 tubes for each of the 4 diagonals. The whole structure stands on 3 pillars, known as “bipods”).

Total height Diameter of spheres Diameter of tubes Surface area of spheres Length of tubes at edges Length of tubes on diagonals Diameter of pavilion at base Total weight in 1958 [on construction] Total weight in 2006 [after renovation]

102m 18m 3m30 108m2 / 240m2 29m 23m 26m 2.400 tonnes 2.500 tonnes

INTERNET • • • • • • •

873.000 references on the Internet 12.000 sites with direct links to the Atomium site 45.000 shared photographs on Flickr 60.000 shared photographs on Picasa more than 13.000 fans on Facebook 4.000 check-ins with Foursquare 2.300 individual visitors every day to the Atomium site

Every day statistics

600.000 visitors per year Record number of visitors in one day: 4,700 on 17.08.2008 • One of 5 European institutions providing visitors with audio-guides in 28 languages • 100 private events per year, with 11,000 participants • Approximately 10 visits by Heads of State each year, both private and official • The Atomium is also used in dozens of photoshoots for fashion, design and architecture magazines • A number of national and international radio and TV broadcasts are recorded each year, either at the foot of the Atomium or inside •

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VISITORS’ GUIDE

BE PART OF THE LEGEND Before entering the lift which takes you to the panoramic sphere [level 7], don’t miss the opportunity of taking a photograph by the panel located in the queuing area: send it to us at me@atomium.be. The best pictures will be published on our Facebook page (facebook.com/missyatomium)

The Atomium’s Facebook profile now has 13,000 fans and makes the building one of the most popular in the country.

You’re fantastic!

While you are waiting for the lift, listen to items 100 and 101 on your audio-guide for an introduction to the history of the Atomium from 1958 to the present day.

Thank you all! Carry on posting your photos and generated at BeQRious.com comments.

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

THE FASTEST LIFT IN EUROPE direct transfer from level 0 > level 7 In addition to its unique architectural qualities, the Atomium already boasted the fastest lift in Europe in 1958, with a speed of 5 metres per second (18 kph). This record has obviously been exceeded since and is now held by Taipei 101 (Taiwan) with a speed of 16.8 metres per second (60 kph), more than 3 times as fast.This record will soon be broken again with the construction of a building in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China), which will have a lift speed of 18 metres per second (65 kph).

Did you know?

The Atomium lift, which was originally intended to operate for the duration of Expo 58, meets today’s standards and receives a full overhaul at the beginning of every year. The only structural modification is the installation of a window in the ceiling, which allows the visitor to see the entrails of the central tube and better appreciate the impression of speed.

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DID YOU FEEL IT? While walking around inside the Atomium, you may have felt movement, as in a boat, or seen light fittings moving slightly. This is due to flexibility in the structure, which is essential to allow it to withstand winds. If the Atomium

would be rigid, it would simply break. Remember the proverb: bamboo bends but does not break. This principle is applied to the architecture of the Atomium. So no worries!


Did you know?

VISITORS’ GUIDE

often copied but never an exact match As far as we know, there are currently 5 miniature replicas of the Atomium, all located in Europe. Are you aware of any others? If so, send us an e-mail to me@atomium.be

Ozd (Hungary)

This small, discrete sculpture, perched on top of a pedestal, can be found in Stadium Park and is believed to date from the 1960’s. This is the oldest replica that we know about. It is thought to have been made by a group of engineers and workers from the city’s metallurgical factory and may have originally been mobile. •

Minimundus (Klagenfurt / Austria)

This 1:50 replica (about 2 metres high) was a gift from the City of Brussels to the Urban Community of Seville on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition which was held in the Andalusian city in 1992. The monument was not removed after the event and still adorns the bus station on Plaza de Armas. Parque Europa (Torrejon de Ardoz - Madrid / Spain) •

This replica, at a scale of 1:25 (i.e. approximately 4 metres in height), is on display in the Minimundus collection of miniature buildings which opened in 1957. • Miniwelt

Sevilla (Spain)

(Liechtenstein)

This most recent of the replicas is also at a scale of 1:25 and is located in a miniaturised collection of European buildings. Curiously, our Spanish friends chose not to give the Atomium its large windows, giving a rather strange appearance to it.

This is also a 1:25 replica and can be seen in the Miniwelt collection of miniature buildings, which contains approximately 100 emblematic buildings from all over the world in an area of 6.5 hectares.

01. Ozd hungary

02. Minimundus Klagenfurt - austria

03. Miniwelt liechtenstein

04. Sevilla spain

05. Parque Europa Madrid - spain

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

01. Heysel - Palace 5 (exhibition hall)

Ost end

Bru ge Gh s en t

1

W 02. Planetarium & Mini-Europe

2

i rna Tou

03. National Basilica of the Sacred Heart Koekelberg

S

04. Poelaert Square and Brussels Law Courts

3

M on s 05. Grand-Place

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4


VISITORS’ GUIDE

Antw erp

Me ch ele n

THE 360º PANORAMA

[level 7]

N n Leuve

06. North District (business centres and ministries)

Hasselt

9

Lieg e

E

07. European Institutions district

08. Royal Palace (the King’s residence)

W av re

8

5

6

7

09. USA Pavilion for Expo 58

ur m Na lon Ar

Charleroi © Panorama: AERIAL - Alexandre LAURENT - www.alexandrelaurent.be - 2012

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

PANORAMIC RESTAURANT [level 8]

Did you know?

The panoramic restaurant [level 8] is not in fact part of the visit, but is freely accessible to visitors from the panoramic level 7. • During the day (11h30>14h30) : à la carte, brasserie, menu for groups (reservations only), children’s menu. • Evenings (19h30>23h / reservation strongly recommended): gastronomic menu. • Belgium Taste: t. +32 (0)2.479.58.50 / f. +32 (0)2.240.15.19 www.belgiumtaste.com

masculine Or feminine? Is the word Atomium masculine, feminine or neutral, in your opinion? Atomium is in fact masculine AND feminine. For our part, we prefer the feminine, but it’s a matter of preference!

In Dutch, Atomium is neutral (het Atomium), as in English. What about you - how do you feel about the Atomium? Is it masculine, feminine or neutral? Let us know your opinion via Facebook!

CONTINUE THE VISIT 2

Exi

t

3

On leaving the lift, turn directly left and follow the blue arrows EXPO > LEVEL 1 around behind the lift before taking the escalator on the right.

1

En

tra

nc

e

01. Lift / 02. Escalator / 03. Shop & Exit

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VISITORS’ GUIDE

THE EXPOSITIONS PERMANENT EXHIBITION EXPO 58: THE OCCASION

[levels 1 > 6] [levels 1 & 2]

A POST-WAR EVENT On 17 April 1958, on the Heysel site, the Brussels Universal and International Exhibition was inaugurated. This huge event was intended to be a showcase for Belgium and nearly 40 other countries, out of 70 being part of the UN. With the slogan building a world for the modern man, the event sent out a message of boundless optimism and attempted to reflect a society that was confident in its future and enthusiastic about the future of humanity. A real promotional campaign for a nation, a lifestyle and an era, Expo 50 undeniably left its mark in people’s memories and became a major event in the Belgian national history. With its style and its appearance, the Atomium, one of the only remaining iconic traces of this event, plunges you into the heart of the prestigious, unforgettable Expo 58. The Lucien De Roeck star If Expo 58 left its mark in our hearts and minds, so did its logo the Lucien de Roeck star, named after its designer. The star-shaped logo has become one of the legends of graphical design. As a professional designer, Lucien De Roeck looked for a single graphical element, simple and clear, to bring together components to suggest the exhibition, taking account of its universal nature and the city in which it took place. He considered several possibilities, including that

of a tree with no leaves, the branches supporting the symbols which characterised the Exhibition. The winner, however, was the Star, which he cleverly distorted to represent the dynamic nature of the Exhibition. He also added the concept of universality in the form of a globe, and anchored the whole design in the time dimension, in a manner which was both symbolic and paradoxical, by using the number 58, which marked the whole Exhibition.

For a better understanding of Expo 58 in the context of the 1950’s, listen to item 102 on your audio-guide.

For more information about the symbol of Expo 58, listen to item 203 on your audio-guide.

Star 58 © Fonds Lucien De Roeck www.lucienderoeck.be

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VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

The ARROW OF civil engineering, the other technical and architectural achievement With the Atomium, the arrow of the Civil Engineering Pavilion is the other technical and architectural achievement of the Belgian section. A tribute to the audacious techniques deployed in modern architecture, this 80-metre structure in reinforced concrete, leaping towards the sky, attracted the curious visitor, as did the footbridge suspended from it, which provided a view on an animated version in relief of Belgium in miniature. The Arrow of Belgian Civil Engineering remained alongside the Atomium until the 1970’s. In pitiful condition, it was blown up to make way for the car park of a shopping centre. Through the corridors of the exhibition

The large canvas to the right of the Civil Engineering model represents the late King Baudouin 1 of the Belgians, in the company of the actress Gina Lollobrigida. To find out more about this strange meeting, listen to item 205 on your audio-guide.

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Visitors are invited to explore the Exhibition in many ways: on foot, comfortably installed in a rickshaw, in the little Mercedes train, or, for the more fortunate, in a helicopter. This exotic and modern journey, with items from cuisine to folklore, enables visitors to tour the world in just a few hours. smiles all the way Expo 58 was a truly modern communications operation for Belgium of the 50’s which it showcased. Intense media coverage made the event unavoidable. Belgium wanted to leave Belgian and foreign visitors with a lasting impression of youthfulness and energy. The posters and brochures which we reproduce in the exhibitions reflect the welcoming, courteous and attractive campaigns that surrounded Expo 58, as well as reminding us of the graphical context of the 1950’s.


VISITORS’ GUIDE

the nineteen-fifties on show in brussels With its national and commercial pavilions, Expo 58 was a window to the world. In spite of it message of peace and friendship between nations, this great festive event was not immune from the tensions of the Cold War in 1958. Beneath the Atomium, the United States and the Soviet Union (now Russia and the other nations of central Europe) defied each other in a symbolic confrontation. Both of them attracted curious, fascinated crowds. Pride of place at the centre of the Soviet Pavilion was given to Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, representing the success of communist society. Opposite this, the American Pavilion vaunted the American Dream, the consumer society and the comforts of modern life.

Immerse yourself in the ambiance of the Soviet Pavilion by listening to item 202 on your audio-guide.

the unforgettable Fair Hostesses The hostesses are as much part of the Expo 58 mythology as the Atomium. During the 6 months of the event, almost 300 friendly, multilingual and devoted young ladies welcomed and guided the millions of visitors who flocked to the site. Dressed in red jackets and blue hats, disciplined and flirtatious at the same time, they were the epitome of the modern woman of those times. joyful Belgium

This reconstitution of a village from the old days, a place of entertainment with a festive atmosphere, is a classic from the Belgian Universal Exhibition. For the six months of Expo 58, Joyful Belgium was constantly full of crowds of visitors, eating, drinking and having fun. With its bars, snack bars, restaurants, dance halls, folklore displays, hostesses and mayor, this picturesque spot, where beer flowed copiously, brought joy to those who trod its cobblestones and went away again with unforgettable memories.

Find a virtual visit of Expo 58 on our website: www.atomium.be/expo58 73


Did you know?

VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

why HAs the atomium that shape? It all began in 1958, when Brussels was preparing to host the Universal Exhibition which became known as Expo 58. A Universal Exhibition is a great global gathering, taking place every four years, where countries build Pavilions to present their culture and expertise. Each Pavilion is, in a way, a showcase for the country. Each Universal Exhibition has a theme and a symbolic building. In 1958, science was given pride of place: at that time, everyone was convinced that thanks to scientific progress we would soon travel in capsules rather than cars, everyone would have robots to do the housework, no one would ever be ill, and living in space would be possible. In 1958, unlike today, the whole world was convinced that science would solve all our elementary iron crystal

problems and improve our lives. The challenge for Expo 58 was to find a means of celebrating the atom and its applications by inventing an exceptional Pavilion. This was when engineer-architect André Waterkeyn observed that, in nature, atoms of iron organise themselves in a regular cubic structure which could easily be reproduced in the form of a building. He then made an elementary unit of iron (9 atoms), magnified 165 billion times, to give the Atomium its shape of a cube standing on one corner, with nine atoms (one at each corner) connected together by 20 tubes, the whole structure standing on 3 giant pillars. Thus the Atomium was born with its unique shape. Although the Atomium was not intended to outlive the Universal Exhibition of 1958, its popularity and success quickly made it a major feature of the landscape, both in Brussels and further afield. atomium

Atoms of Iron: The Atomium has 9 spheres.

Might the Atomium have been named the Crystallium? Or the Ferrium? For more information on this intriguing question, please listen to item 200 on your audio-guide.

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A basic unit of iron (which naturally structures itself in a cubic network) made up of 9 atoms.


Did you know?

VISITORS’ GUIDE

Statistics concerning Expo 58 • • • • • • • • • • •

60,000,000 hours of work to create the site 41,454,412 visitors 4,500,000 entries to Joyful Belgium 3,000,000 visitors travelled in the cable car 713,664 was the record number of visitors in one day 20,000 meals each day in the 70 restaurants on the site 20,000 workers 2,000 journalists covered the event 500 gardeners looked after the green spaces on the site 220 motorised tricycles 8 babies born

Are these figures making you dizzy? You will find more by listening to item 104 on your audio-guide.

Did you know that the Atomium almost failed to come into existence? To find out more about this mystery, listen to item 405 on your audio-guide. Further explore the unknown aspects of this fabulous project by listening to interviews with André Waterkeyn, designer of the Atomium, (item 208), and with those who contributed to it (item 207). 75


EXPO 58 - The album of memories

VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

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TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS [levels 3, 4 & 5] Alongside the permanent exhibition, since it reopened in 2006, the Atomium has included temporary exhibitions arranged on three levels. These exhibitions, often jointly produced with the support of major international scientific institutions, cover two types of subject: these are societal topics, and architecture and design.

Programme FOR 2012 > EARLY 2013

www.atomium.be/expo

ARCHITECTONIC. Concrete walls (1958-1980) 16.12.2011 > 15.04.2012 What if concrete could make technical synonymous with aesthetic? Moderation with excess? Simplicity with creativity? Architecture with sculpture? ARCHITECTONIC takes a fresh look at concrete, this much-criticised material, as well as the ways in which it has been used in architecture, often showing startling originality. WATER FOR ALL… and all for the water 25.04.2012 > 02.09.2012 Water for drinking, cooking, laundry, dishwashing or bathing: that goes without saying! But are water supplies inexhaustible? Will water always be drinkable? Will there be a war for water? Could water become as expensive as petrol? What about other parts of the world? This year, the Atomium will dip its toe into the tricky, universal question of water and its management. Jump in it and swim with the current! INTERSECTIONS #2 14.09.2012 > january 2013 Intersections offers the public a new and original view of emerging designers or their latest collections. An innovative, special and original concept to showcase design in Belgium and raise its visibility: interrogating disciplines such as urban, textile and industrial design, Intersections#2 prioritises the work of Achilles, Lucile Soufflet and Diane Steverlinckx.

P.S: during the periods when temporary exhibitions are being installed or removed, the areas involved are closed to the public. On every such occasion, we do our utmost to carry out the work as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience. 78


VISITORS’ GUIDE

ARCHITECTS’ SECRETS When you leave Level 4 and before following the tube leading to level 5, take a look at how the tube and the sphere are joined together by enormous bolts. In passing, note also the fineness and ingenuity of the iron stair railings, the fruit of the labours of architects André & Jean Polak.

RENOVATION

To learn more about this subject, listen to item 210 on your audio-guide.

[level 5]

slideshow Renovation work started in November 2004 A 22-month project of heritage renovation • 250 people worked on the site • The Atomium, brand new again, re-opened on 18 February 2006 • Renovation undertaken by Conix Architecten and coordinated by Konrad Bilgischer • •

In the autumn of 1958, after six months of intense festivities, Expo 58 closed its doors. Looking out towards the blank space created on the Heysel platform, the Atomium remained. While the urban renewal of the site was taking place, this edifice in the Brussels landscape gradually became symbolic of a city and a nation, eventually incarnating a great and beautiful Belgium as proclaimed in our national anthem while the country was undergoing profound institutional changes. By the end of the 1990’s, however, a lack of maintenance had reduced the building to a pitiful state. Its existence was threatened by crazy projects, or simply by demolition. In spite of this, a growing awareness of the symbolic and heritage value of the Atomium persuaded the public authorities, under the leadership of the City of Brussels and the Federal Government, to finance the renovation of the building. From spring of 2004 to February 2006, a period of 22 months, 250 workers were busy on the site. Without damaging the original concept of the Polak brothers and André Waterkeyn, more than 6000 plates were replaced. The work restored the sleeping beauty to its previous splendour. Since then, inquisitive Belgians have re-discovered their curiosity and affection for the edifice, which so splendidly represents a Belgian style of surrealism. While emphasising the heritage and architectural qualities of the building, the renovation succeeded in dragging the Atomium of its slumber and restoring it to life. On completion of the work, a festive and cultural programme to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Expo 58 has definitively re-instated the Atomium into the heart of the city.

Re-live the 2 years of renovation, the work of a whole nation to restore its image, by listening to items 401, 402, 403 and 404 on your audio-guide.

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Did you know?

VI SI T O R S ’ G U I D E

the ATOMIUM & its “sisters” around the world Although it may seem to be unique, the Atomium can nevertheless be compared with other edifices around the world, on the basis of their shape, their symbolism or the reason why they exist.

Tokyo Tower / 東京タワー (Japan)

This 333-metre tower is located in the very heart of the Japanese capital. It shares 3 major features with the Atomium: they were both constructed in 1958; they both symbolise a city and its leading tourist attractions; and they both relate to the concepts of progress and science. The Atomium at the time incarnated the hopefulness of atomic energy and its peaceful application, while the Tokyo Tower was the first transmitter to enable Tokyo’s citizens to receive television in their homes. It has accepted this function until May 2012, when the Tokyo Skytree (634 metres) took it over. As for the Tower, it will continue to accommodate recording studios and a point from which to observe the city. •

Fernsehturm (Berlin / Germany)

The Berlin Fernsehturm was originally a television transmitter tower. It presently accommodates FM and analog and digital TV transmitters. With a height of 368 metres, it is the tallest structure in the city and symbolises the old East Berlin (construction between 1965 and 1968). At the base of the tower in Alexanderplatz, you can see the broad boulevards and blocks of collective buildings from the communist era. There is a panoramic restaurant at the summit of the tower. Customers are even more impressed by the fact that the restaurant slowly rotates! The lift rises to the top of the tower at a speed of 6 m/s, 1 m/s faster than the Atomium lift. The Fernsehturm is similar to the Atomium in terms of its symbolism and shape, particularly with the metal-covered sphere at its summit.

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VISITORS’ GUIDE

Eiffel Tower (Paris / France)

The Eiffel Tower, constructed from wrought iron, rises to a height of 324 metres from the north-west corner of the Champ-de-Mars park on the edge of the Seine. Built by Gustave Eiffel and his company for the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition and originally called the 300-metre Tower, this monument has become symbolic of the French capital and a major tourist attraction: it was the 9th most-popular French site in 2006 and the world’s most-visited paying monument. At its original height of 312 metres, the Eiffel Tower remained the highest monument in the world for 41 years. Its height was raised several times by the installation of antennas, culminating at 324m. Used in the past for numerous scientific experiments, it now serves as a transmitter tower for radio and TV broadcasts. The Atomium and the Eiffel Tower have a number of features in common: they are made of metal (both being known as the Iron Lady), they have a symbolic status and are linked to a Universal Exhibition. Our neighbours to the south in fact often refer to the Atomium as the Eiffel Tower of Brussels! You can see a miniature replica in Mini-Europe at the foot of the Atomium. •

The Oriental Pearl Tower / 东方明珠电视塔 (Shanghai / China)

Designed by the architect Jia Huan Cheng, its construction began in 1991. It was opened in May 1995, taking its place as one of the first prestigious buildings in the Pudong district. Its height of 468m makes it one of the tallest towers in the world. Often likened to a giant cup-and-ball game, it is made up of three main spheres of different sizes. Two of them have diameters greater than 45 and 50 metres, whereas the highest sphere is only 14 metres in diameter. The tower has observation platforms at heights of 263 and 350 m, as well as a revolving panoramic restaurant situated at a height of 267m. A TV antenna stands on top of the tower. The tower receives 3 million visitors each year. Its appearance, the materials used and its high symbolic value make the Oriental Pearl Tower the youngest member of the Sisters of the Atomium. In 2010, during the Shanghai Universal Exhibition, the Atomium used this point in its communications strategy and renamed the symbol of Brussels Pearl of the Orient, which was much appreciated in China. What about you? What other building do you associate with the Atomium? And why? Let us know by sending an e-mail to me@atomium.be

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Did you know?

The Atomium can also be hired for all types of event.

Meetings • seminars • conferences • product launches • team building incentives • cultural / scientific / professional events • cocktails • banquets 5 hiring formulas from 200 to 1440 m2, 30 to 800 guests (events to your own specification also possible) Reception furniture (cloakrooms - back office - tables) / catering / internet access / video projection / sound systems / lighting systems hostesses / easy parking / easy access (motorway, metro and hotels) / excellent price-performance ratio

info

sandra.libens@atomium.be / +32 (0)2 475 47 72 / Mon.-Tue.-Thu.-Fri.

www.atomium.be/mice


VISITORS’ GUIDE

KID’S SPHERE

[not included in the tour]

The Kid’s Sphere is accessible only to pre-booked primary school groups or occasional planned workshops. The Kid’s Sphere project dates from the same period as the renovation of the Atomium. It aims to invite children to spend a night in the building, to discover a view of Brussels from the panoramic level and visit other iconic sites in Brussels. This original

showcase project, created by the Spanish artist Alicia Framis, enjoys an international reputation and has already delighted thousands of children from Belgium and elsewhere since it opened. This project has been featured in number of guides representing unusual hotels around the world.

Are you a teacher interested in booking this facility for your class? Visit the Kid’s Sphere mini-site: www.atomium.be/kidsphere

[LEVEL 6]

Situated at a height of 62m, the viewpoint offers a surprising viewing angle over the Atomium and 5 of its spheres, with the Brussels skyline in the background. Enjoy the view and never forget this unique landscape.

TUBE

Julien Guinard - Valère Terrier - Anthony Gouvrillon / Digital Slaves Le Tone - www.visualsystem.org

team vs music

atomic kaleidoscope

Help us!

VIEWPOINT

What do we mean by molecules of rain? Listen to item 500 on your audio-guide.

Why not leave us a reminder of your visit? Send us a sticker with the colours of your town or your country. A member of our staff will stick it to the atome! Mister Happy Sticker Atomium, Square de l’Atomium, B-1020 BRUSSELS 83


Mes notes

Mijn aantekeningen

J’ai séjourné à Bruxelles / Ik was in Brussel / I stayed in Brussels du / van / from En logeant à / Ik verbleef in / Staying at: En compagnie de / In het gezelschap van / Accompanied by

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au / tot / to

My personal notes


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ON VOUS DIT DéJà MERCI ! BEDANKT VOOR UW BEZOEK! THANKS IN ADVANCE! à envoyer à l’Atomium dès que possible • Zo snel mogelijk naar het Atomium te sturen • To be sent to the Atomium as soon as possible me@atomium.be

Je connais une copie de l’Atomium qui n’est pas mentionnée dans ce guide Ik ken een kopie van het Atomium die nog niet in deze gids vermeld is I know a copy of the Atomium which is not mentioned in this Guide

L’Atomium me fait également penser à tel bâtiment Het Atomium doet mij ook denken aan het volgende gebouw The Atomium also reminds me of the following building

AIDEZ-NOUS ! Pourquoi ne pas laisser une trace de votre passage? Envoyez un autocollant aux couleurs de votre ville ou de votre pays. Celui-ci sera collé sur le meuble ATOME par un membre de notre personnel ! HELP ONS! Waarom geen spoor achterlaten van uw bezoek? Stuur ons een sticker in de kleuren van uw stad of land. Iemand van ons personeel zal deze dan aanbrengen op het Atoommeubel. HELP US! Why not leave us a reminder of your visit? Send us a sticker with the colours of your town or your country. A member of our staff will stick it to the “ATOME”! Mister Happy Sticker Atomium Square de l’Atomiumsquare B-1020 Brussels

ATOMIUM - GuideBook 2012  

Free visitor's guide, level by level (22p).

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