Atomium 2003

The Atomium, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World Expo, was renovated between 2004 and 2006. Because I had never visited it before, I wanted to take a look before the restoration. It’s now covered in stainless steel but the original plating was aluminium, and the windows were made of acrylic as far as I could tell…

The nightmarish elevator ride to the top:

The railings of the original stairs had this amusing vintage “atomic” theme. I’m not sure they kept these after the restoration. Same for the atomium-themed carpet.

The escalators were one of the big attractions in 1958, but these were all non-functional in 2003 – if you think this looks like a total death trap, you are probably right…

The interior was dark and gloomy and rather embarrassingly decorated.

Most of the spheres were not accessible, for some reason someone put disco lights in the closed tubes:

The stairs that are actually used by visitors:

The observation deck would give a nice view except that the perspex windows were much deteriorated…

Some construction elements, not looking so good:

I’m not sure if this was supposed to be art or temporary storage of junk, sorry hypothetical artist!