This was the Future, Vol.05

typed for your pleasure on 16 February 2005, at 2.11 pm

Holy crap, another one? Already? So soon? Yeah, why not.
Sdtrk: ‘Ushiwaka kurama iri’ by Merzbow

Europe, you need to send some of your cooler architecture over here. Or at the very least, some of your cooler architects…

I’m sure a lot of you have seen this building before, and never knew what it was called. I just learned its name recently, cos I remember seeing it years ago, on the inner sleeve/lyric sheet of the ‘Sparks in outer space’ 12″ vinyl. This would be the Atomium, in Brussels.

Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn for the International Exhibition of Brussels, that took place here in 1958, the Atomium is a structure that is half way between sculpture and architecture, symbolising a crystal molecule of metal by the scale of its atoms, magnified 165 billion times. [..]

The Atomium was not intended to survive the Exhibition of 1958. Its popularity and success, however, ensured its place as a major landmark on the Brussels skyline.

If that doesn’t scream ‘ATOM AGE FIFTIES FUTURE’, I don’t know what does. It’s a bit too wonky to be practical, but who says all buildings have to be practical?
Thankfully, not only did the Belgian government not tear it down after its initial usage was complete (yes, it was an exposition building), but they’re currently renovating it. Gooooo Belgium!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

This was the Future, Vol.17 on October 18th, 2005

This was the Future, Vol.20 on December 22nd, 2005

3 have spoken to “This was the Future, Vol.05”

  1. uao writes:

    Hey far out!, I’m into rusting huks of space-age architecture, too. I lived in the shadows of the weedy park called Flushing Meadows where the Worlds fairground of 1964 (and 1939) sit mostly forgotten and abandoned. The Unisphere is a big favorite; from when the future still was exciting.

  2. Davecat writes:

    Anything with a futuristic name like The Unisphere has to be a winner. 🙂

    There really should be an effort to preserve Expo sites, as they’re rather like giant time capsules. ‘Here’s what the people of 1964 thought we’d be doing in the far-flung future of 1990.’ Sure, you could argue that they take up a bit of space, but there are worse things taking up just as much space, if not more *coughHardRockcafecough*

  3. veach writes:

    Having actually been inside this monstrous claptrap, which always made me smile when I went to the movies there (one of the best 24-theater venues in Europe is in its shadow . . . many in English or En-subtitled–where I saw Clerks and Pulp Fiction!) I am pleased to hear it’s not being allowed to crumble anymore. It is a Parthenonesque relic. The Brusselites revere it like the Parisians do the Eiffel Tower and SanFranciscans their Arch.

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