‘After the Expo, everything was modern,’ still is a lasting catchphrase in the popular history of Expo 1958 Brussels in Belgium. Architecture, however, had already turned modern long before 1958. It might sound odd today, but the organisers of the World Expo had announced the Expo’s architecture as ‘not so much modern, but twenty years ahead of its time.’ Moreover, while progressivist architecture journals, both Belgian and foreign, expressed their general appreciation for the overall rapprochement they observed between modern architecture and the public, they also did not hide their disappointment on the average state of architecture at the Expo. The Belgian CIAM delegation even declared that the architecture of Expo 1958 was “a great fiasco.” How can this Expo then be considered a laboratory for architectural and engineering experiment?
This week, the A to Z of Expo Architects turns its focus to Greek-French composer, architect and director Iannis Xenakis, who created the revolutionary Philips Pavilion at World Expo 1958 in partnership with Le Corbusier.
Taking the W spot on the Expo Architects list is André Waterkeyn, a Belgian metallurgical engineer turned architect who teamed up with his brothers-in-law André and Jean Polak to design the centrepiece of World Expo 1958 Brussels: the Atomium.
Italian urbanist and architect Ludovico Quaroni takes this week’s spot on the list of Expo Architects for his contribution to Italy’s pavilion at World Expo 1958 Brussels.
Known for his use of vernacular models in urban projects and a preference for traditional designs over monumental architecture, Quaroni was one of nine architects who contested the Italian Government’s competition to showcase a modern and resurging Italy at Expo 1958. The group of architects instead came together to create a resolutely anti-modernist project, demonstrating an act of insubordination while reflecting the tense climate that dominated architectural debate in the post-war era.
Belgium celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of World Expo 1958 in Brussels. On this occasion, the BIE interviewed Henri Simons, Director of the Atomium and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, who explains how this event has marked several generations and why it is still so popular today.
Expos are blank canvasses for innovative structures and architectural concepts, giving new and established architects the opportunity to design memorable pavilions. One such architect is Karl Schwanzer, the celebrated Austrian architect who was born 100 years ago today.
A major figure in post-War architecture, Karl Schwanzer first made the headlines for his native country’s national pavilion at Expo 1958 in Brussels. This success was followed nine years later when he designed not only Austria’s pavilion at Expo 1967 Montreal, but also the Expo’s on-site Vienna Kindergarten.
World Expos are often known for their architecture and inventions, but they are equally as remarkable for the cultural innovations that they foster. One such innovation made its debut 60 years ago today, when the Czechoslovak pavilion at Expo 1958 Brussels first staged Laterna Magika, creating a sensation in the world of theatre that continue to this day.
Initially called Non-stop revue as it played all day long, the show, directed by Alfréd Radok (also the director and manager of the National Theatre of Prague) and scenographer Josef Svoboda, depicted everyday life in Czechoslovakia. The directors were notably assisted by a young scenario writer, who went on to become globally-acclaimed film director Milos Forman.
Brussels begins celebrations this weekend to mark the 60th anniversary of its favourite symbol and Expo 1958 icon, the Atomium.
The unique and impressive structure in Belgium's capital will be host to a range of events and activities to mark the special anniversary, allowing residents of Brussels and visitors to discover the impressive heritage of Expo 1958.
Nuclear energy is one of the largest contributors to electricity production across the world, and its importance is not set to diminish in the near future, despite the controversy that has always surrounded it.
The glorious nuclear future envisioned in the mid-20th century, with bountiful, cheap and safe energy supplies, is not exactly the reality of today. However, humanity’s continuous need for safe and affordable energy means that the search to unlock the power of the atom remains relevant to this day.