Main Access Stairs ADAM (Art & Design Atomium Museum)

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The Plasticarium Stairs

The space houses an exceptional collection of plastic furniture typical of the 1970s.
At the entrance to the part of the Trade Mart showcasing the collection is a set of stairs. The building’s façade is interesting, marked by a vertical row of bronze-coloured mirror panels that reflect the dense greenery around. The existing staircase is built out of scaffolding, an element that is both stable and short-lived and that can be assembled and disassembled ad infinitum. Scaffolding on its own evokes a whole poetics of time and transformation, and so we’ll be keeping the staircase. It needs to be there for the sake of the building, to which it provides access, and to flag the new Museum at its entrance point: visitors are greeted from the outset by a stunning piece of work.
We have created an imaginary horizontal axis of symmetry over the top of the stairs. This structure serves as a protective canopy for visitors waiting in line.
An inverted-colour design reinforces the original aspect of the structure, creating an interplay between literal and non-literal symmetry. This playful dimension to the graphic treatment is in line with the cheeriness exuded by the collection the museum presents to the public.
The Trade Mart’s reflective facade shows a host of other staircases thanks to its mirror effects, flagging the museum all the more compellingly by multiplying the structure: there are many staircases leading to the Plasticarium, not just one!

STATUS Built; completed in december 2015
LOCATION Place de Belgique, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgique
CLIENT Private: ADAM Art & Design Atomium Museum
ARCHITECTURAL TEAM Jean NOUVEL – Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, FR)
ASSOCIATED ARCHITECTS Xavier DE WIL, Marie MOIGNOT – MDW Architecture (Bruxelles, BE)
SITE WORK MDW Architecture (Marie MOIGNOT, Robert MORDYCK)
ENGINEERS Layher France
CONTRACT TYPE Commission, Full design services
PROGRAM Design of the outdoor main access stairs