Atomium - construction consisting of 9 spheres (Brussels)
Location show on map
Atomiumsquare, Brussels, Belgium
Date of build
March 1956 - beginning of construction
The Atomium is a 102 meter high building in Brussels, which was originally built on Expo '58, Brussels World's Fair in 1958.
The construction of this structure lasted about 18 months. Originally it was not designed as a permanent structure, just like the famous Eiffel Tower. Although the building was only designed for six months, its demolition was moved year after year due to its role in tourism and the economy. Eventually, the city government rejected any plans to destroy it.
It is hard to determine the type of this building, it is neither a tower nor a pyramid, it is something between sculpture and architecture.
The structure consists of 9 spheres - atoms, representing the shape of an iron particle enlarged 165 million times.
Tubes with a diameter of 3 meters connect the balls along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight balls to the center.
The structure is supported on three two legs, is made of steel, covered with aluminum and weighs about 2400 tons.
There are 9 spherical spheres available for visitors 6. Each has two levels, the lower one for service and service, and the upper one, where the exhibitions are located, or, as is the case with the highest sphere, it offers panoramic views of the city.
The diameter of each ball is 18 meters and the distance between the balls is about 30 meters.
You can get to the highest ball by elevator, it takes 22 people there in just 23 seconds, which translates into a speed of 5 m/s, it was a record achievement during its construction.
There is a restaurant in the upper sphere that can accommodate up to 140 people. There is also an observation deck capable of accommodating 250 people.
Due to lack of vertical support, three of the four upper spheres are not accessible to the public for safety reasons.
The Atomium hosts many concerts, film screenings, events and conferences.
At the turn of the years, the condition of the building deteriorated significantly and a comprehensive renovation was needed. In 2004, a two-year renovation began, including the use of stainless steel outside the balls instead of the original aluminum sheets, as well as the installation of LED lighting.
In 2013, CNN television called the Atomium the most bizarre building in Europe.
The building is visited annually by about 600 thousand tourists.
Official website: https://atomium.be/