The Atomium association will broaden its activities next year, to include an art and design museum. It will open at Trade Mart, next to the monument edifice, which will house the Plasticarium collection. This collection is made up of 1,100 everyday objects made from plastic, dating from the modernist period to the baby boom.
Since its renovation in 2006, the monument edifice, one of the most visited places in Belgium, has been preparing for change. This change is to contribute to the diversification of activities on the Heysel plateau, the Atomium association’s managers announced on Monday. There were accompanied by the culture councilor Karine Lalieux and Philippe Close (Tourism and Finance).
The Plasticarium is currently very cramped and struggling to become known in its current 500m² home in the center of the capital, despite many of its objects being exhibited in several big museums. These objects are a symbol of the consumer society of the modernist period (1969 – 1973) which followed the creation of the Atomium. They have been selected by Philippe Decel over the last 27 years.
From December 2015, these surrealist reflections will be shown off in 2,500 m² of permanent exhibition space in the future Plasticarium Art and Design Atomium Museum. It will be rotated annually, and be 5,000m² large altogether.
The acquisition had the blessing of the Roi Baudouin Foundation.
As a preview of the exhibition, the Atomium will house the “Orange Dreams” exhibition from the 26th of November to the 25th of May, which will showcase part of the Plasticarium.
The rest of the museum will be used for temporary exhibitions, which will allow the Atomium to have six of them a year. Two of them will be at the Atomium site itself, the Atomium director Henri Simons explained on Monday.
Financially, Brussels will inject 400,000 euros into the museum. But the management will be done by the Atomium association, which thinks that the museum will be “self-supporting” after the 110,000th visitor.
According to Henri Simons, the first temporary exhibition will be organized in March 2016.