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Flèche du Génie Civil - Brussels Expo 58

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After Brussels 1935, Paris 1937 and New York 1939 ... we make a leap forward in time, because World War II !

And we arrive at the first "modern" exhibition", Brussels in 1958, popularly known as Expo 58.

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Eternal renewal, other exhibitions earlier had celebrated in a spirit of optimism for peace and brotherhood, the following years did nothing but denial.

This time, it was sure the exhibition Brussels opened the door to a world of peace, brotherhood, wisdom and renewed prosperity.

It was enough to convince them to visit this Expo 58, and to discover all the riches and inventions in the service of modern women and men!

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This exhibition was originally scheduled in Brussels in 1955, but political turmoil, a shaky financial situation and even the Korean War, it was wisely decided to wait another three years to organize this Exhibition.

Expo 58 would also be the symbol of economic revival of Europe as a whole.

The site had been chosen we are not unknown, since it is the same as the Exposition of 1935 in Brussels, on the Heysel.

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The location was charmed nearly 20 million visitors 23 years ago, it would be the same for nearly 42 million visitors to Expo 58!

It's the Baron Moens de Georges Fernig (former Minister of Foreign Trade) to be named commissioner of the exhibition.

And as each exhibition has its theme, here is one of Expo 58:

"Building a world for the modern man; give the man of 1958 a new dignity in the friendly match of all peoples"...

what a program !

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I will not dwell for the moment inside the Expo 58, this is not the topic at the moment.

But before entering the heart of the development of this fourth reconstruction project, here are some figures:

- Area: 200 ha

- Belgian exhibitions surface: 17.5 ha

- Foreign nations exhibitions surface: 24 ha (1.3 international organizations)

- 48 nations plus 7 international organizations

- 41,454,000 visitors

- Opening of April 17, 1958 by the King Baudouin

- Closing October 19, 1958 (duration 185 days)

- Major achievement: the Atomium

alb_expo58_15_640.jpg

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Now that the introduction is made, we began the immersion in this Expo 58, it's time to define the content to be reconstruction.

Already, the main pre-requisite in respect of these projects return: do not choose a national flag, do not choose the flag still exists or remains, try to stick as closely to the theme of the exhibition, which is: "Building a world for the modern man".

It's easy to imagine what it must be something that reflects innovative that could contribute to the benefit of men, a modernity that always comes through science and technology in the service of these men !

Of course, we immediately think of this symbol of what the Atomium Expo 58! Of course, the subject is pleasing, but is well known, see too much, and most importantly, this monument still exists, what would be the interest of restoring it in 3d, so it is always nice to visit!

atomium03.jpg

Or it would still be possible to use it, just as in the case of the Grand Palace that I placed in the film about the 1937 exhibition. It occurs in the background of the Alexander III bridge, it allows the viewer to be in the right place, that is to say in Paris in 1937.

That is certainly what will happen in this fourth film. A synopsis was written, but as so often, it will likely be modified and adapted, either because of lack of documentation and either by choice or finds ingenious new.

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Another point bothered me about the Atomium, the fact that its image is protected. I guess it was the main subject of the film there would be royalties to pay. Thus, even if it seems inevitable, it will remain in the background, to suggest the place and time.

But anyway, I still requested authorization for the use of the image of the Atomium, although in my case, it is not really a use of image, since this monument will be returned in 3d! (Does this apply too?)

Another building, known visually representative of Expo 58, is the Grand Palace, Grand Palace, which the same was done for the Universal Exhibition of 1935, I returned in 3d in the firstproject. Of course, it was redesigned for the occasion, as you can see in the image below:

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Although this facade is very representative of Expo 58, it does nothing and is only distantly related to the theme of the exhibition. Without aura, its role would bring it closer to the Atomium, known as benchmarks ... but that's all ... Dove of Peace or not.

Note though, that the facade and much prettier at night!

palais_nuit.jpg

It is therefore not excluded that we find in the background, the turning of a camera movement ...see!

After consulting guides and plans on Expo 58, it was still a building that constantly recurred in me ... achieving a strong showing its technical and modernism, reflecting a world that is built for man ... Pavilion is the Civil Engineering, and more specifically the achievement masterful in front: the Civil Engineering Arrow!

I must admit that this is not the pavilion itself that attracted me, quite close to a "simple" glass warehouse, even if it is still there, near the arrow which will be connected by a footbridge.

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In contrast, the Civil Engineering Arrow is a marvel of both share his aesthetic, by design and technique, but also because of its role. It's a feat in many ways.

It's a monument equilibrium. All concrete, or rather a very innovative method of reinforced concrete shell ... this arrow that you can see, is indeed hollow, a true mass of empty (well almost ... it is still heavy concrete!) in equilibrium. The Arrow is based only on three feet in front of the suspended part. These three legs are carried out through a pile system "Franki" driven into the ground.

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This arrow, the rear portion contains a large hall, seems to point towards the Atomium. This can often be seen on the photographs: along the edge with it various cables that maintain a large footbridge!

The bridge, designed to carry more than 1,200 people lead the visitor of the Arrow at the Pavilion, Civil Engineering, but not without it having taken advantage of what lies below five meters below, and is even less visible the pictures, I mean a huge map of Belgium!

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t is a relief map at the scale of 1/3500ème which it is possible to visualize the main natural resources and the country's industrial.

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The Civil Engineering Arrow is a joint work. The main instigator is the famous architect Jean van Doosselaere, which will be assisted in his task by the Consulting Engineer Andre Paduart, the artistic collaboration of the sculptor Jacques Moeschal.

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The movie will be located so around the Civil Engineering Arrow, both wedged between several feature pavilions: Pavilion of Civil Engineering, Food Industry Pavilion, Pavilion Etherne Pavilion, Urban, House of Glass, Ceramics and Terracotta, Pavilion Buildings and Housing, to mention only the closest and most viewed.

But also in the background, looking south, the Atomium, a curious turn of wire mesh topped with a mirror ball geodesics. And, looking north-west, the Grand Palais in fashion 58 'found.

Ultimately, this represents a large number of flats to achieve. Of course, depending on the angles of view, if certain pavilions are not visible, they will not be achieved, because again, my time is "more" that counted!

Two months in the context of these refunds in 3d, it goes extremely fast! staggering!

And finally, here is a plan where you can see what I'm going to do:

implantation_58.jpg

In red: the Civil Engineering Arrow and the Map of Belgium (and the mast-wire mesh)

In cream: surface film project

In green: buildings around us (not all may be not achieved, to see depending on the scenario)

In orange: the Atomium and the facade of the Palais du Heysel will be seen from afar.

From my side, the project has already started, and I'll start posting pictures of Work-in-Progress soon.

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Since the Civil Engineering Arrow is the subject of this new film, I start it.

The beginning of the modeling is logically based, and the famous pious "Franki" ... which alone will ensure the stability of the building in balance.

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Without further ado, here is the Arrow ... alone. It seems to be an incredible mass of concrete. True, but not to the extent that we imagine, thankfully!

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The manufacturing process draws on both ancient construction methods, and a structure that could be of wood, like the fuselage of an airplane, because this arrow is composed of couples and smooth of outside is actually a simple veil of reinforced concrete! Was thinking about it!

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Of course, this set is not representative of the construction mode of the time. All these elements have not been cast already assembled in a similar way to images of the WIP, but built from wood forms, with around a forest of scaffolding!

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To prove it, a pair of fairly explicit photos rolleyes.gif

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const_fleche_02.jpg

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Great images and thank you for posting them. I have seen a number of photographs of this world's fair and I recall that the US and USSR had dramatic pavilions. A question: Was the 1958 Brussel's World's Fair actually known as Expo 58? Was it referred to as Expo 58 and was that an offically sanctioned description of that exposition at that time? Or is this a term people use today? Often I see posters refer to past world's fairs as "expos" but I realize those fairs did not use that terminology at the time. Up until 1939, at least, most great fairs were called world's fairs or international expositions but not "expos." I had thought Expo 67 in Montreal was the first international exposition to officially use the term "expo" and make that reference in its advertising, souvenirs, logo, publicity and the like.

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Great images and thank you for posting them. I have seen a number of photographs of this world's fair and I recall that the US and USSR had dramatic pavilions. A question: Was the 1958 Brussel's World's Fair actually known as Expo 58? Was it referred to as Expo 58 and was that an offically sanctioned description of that exposition at that time? Or is this a term people use today? Often I see posters refer to past world's fairs as "expos" but I realize those fairs did not use that terminology at the time. Up until 1939, at least, most great fairs were called world's fairs or international expositions but not "expos." I had thought Expo 67 in Montreal was the first international exposition to officially use the term "expo" and make that reference in its advertising, souvenirs, logo, publicity and the like.

The official guide makes no reference to "Expo 58"; it is referred to as the "universal exhibition" in that publication. Some related ephemera; posters, postcards, maps, etc., refer to it as "Expo 58." I think it was popularly referred to as "Expo 58" in Europe while in the US, it was referred to as "The Brussels World's Fair."

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Thank you. I suspect that you are correct about this. While I think the name, Expo 67, was a great call for those who created the identity and theme of that awesome exposition, I guess I prefer the use of the words world's fair or universal exhibition. Those phrases carry more weight or importance or grandeur or something.

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Yes... Expo and Exposition are tipically european... and more especially french, and of course belgian !

Even documents in french about Expo 1958 are often wrote "Exposition de Bruxelles 1958" or "Bruxelles 1958" or "Bruxelles 58", very rarely only "Expo 58".

- it's especially used when they need to wrote something shorter,

- this term permit to "talk" in the same time to all people... and to find something between "Fair" and "Exposition", and also with "Exhibitions of the World" (in england in the past, but today it's International Expositions it seem)

- 1958 it's also the time when logotype are very fashion... and "Expo 58 + the star" appear as a great logo !

I must precise that "Fair" in french ("Foire" in french) (even world's fair) appear as a word very negative (more as an agricultural show or a cattle market...) ,

you understand well why we prefer the term of "Exposition universelle", also, that permit to have the difference between "international" and "universal".

These words "Exposition universelle" talk a lot for us... in the old countries... that make us fell to these incredible events of the second half of the XXe century !

I hope my explanations are clear... even if I know well the difference between Word's Fair, Exhibition or Exposition... my english is always awfull !

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Following of the arrow, with the rear portion, which serves to balance the whole.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_005_800.jpg

Again, this is a view created for the WIP ... only in order to clearly see the veins that will support the floor of the hall, which will also contribute, by its weight, the balance of the masses.

We also see very well the two drafts, ranging from the boom base to the back of the hall. These drafts contain prestressed concrete large-diameter metal wires.

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And here is the concrete shell, finished in modeled. The characteristic shape of the whole is clearly visible.

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Just as the door-to-rear overhang, sensible balance all! This balance seems to say the least "unstable", but a sign of prowess designers!

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In 1958, visitors could not see, and therefore had no idea that this arrow was hollow. They imagined full concrete construction. If this were the case, the total mass would have collapsed the building!

The thickness of the concrete shell at the tip of the arrow is 8cm to 12cm at the base.

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This arrow of Civil Engineering has really very light line ... for concrete! integration of glass surfaces is in total harmony.

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On this view, we can perfectly see the veins under the floor of the room, and the end anchors, fasteners and metal cables.

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And finally, here is the particular view, we could only see the pictures taken of the sky ... where that point, or rather this arrow reveals its peculiar shape.

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The next step will be the famous footbridge, cause of the existence of the Civil Engineering Arrow - Flèche du Génie Civil !

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I must precise that "Fair" in french ("Foire" in french) (even world's fair) appear as a word very negative (more as an agricultural show or a cattle market...) ,

you understand well why we prefer the term of "Exposition universelle", also, that permit to have the difference between "international" and "universal".

I guess universal goes beyond international to welcome any visitors from Mars or Saturn. B) International means it has multiple nations, while universal means "nothing has been left out"-- at least that's what it means in the Randy dictionary... LOL

Yes, the French have a way of extending out the titles to portray the expo as exceedingly grand and sweeping. Here is one where they said Universal, .... and then added International just to make sure they didn't forget anybody [but it seems a bit redundant when placed in that order].

Le_Roi_Albert_felicitant_M_Chapsal.jpg

Some of the longest titles I've seen were for Paris 1937, where they built the title by cleaning out everything they could find under the kitchen sink.

Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne

Reading it out loud, you have to stop half way through to inhale some more oxygen. :D

On the other hand the Germans, being typically efficient German, collapse it all down into a single word. Weltausstellung. Maybe that's why they've only been deemed worthy to host one of them. :rolleyes:

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Hi lemog,

Your English is just fine and I thank you for the excellent photographs of Brussels in 1958. I clearly understand your ideas and observations and I am happy that you found this site. Please keep sharing your thoughts. Welcome! Bienvenue!

Jim

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Randy,

the point I've miss in my explanations is the sense of "univiersal" was different with the old world's fairs !

As you know well of course, the first "Exposition" or "Exhibition" was in 1851 at London, but the first "Universal Exposition" was in 1855 at Paris.

The main addition between was the "Art"... 1851 was dedicated to the Industry...

In that of 1855 was added a section of Fine Arts... and for the little story, this new section was not totally appreciated, especially I think, because of the way the work was presented, look this photo :

beaux_arts_1855.jpg

That gives a heap that is not really easthetic !

About "Universal", now, since the 30-40', the meaning is different now... that play with size, duration and frequency.

Jim,

thanks for the warm "Bienvenue"... you know, I appreciate a lot this site... even if I must acknowledge to really suffer to read and wrote...

I think to be an "old school french"... a son of the past where Frenchies thought the French was an universal language !

I'm the result... but I hope to make progress ! laugh.gif

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Other point about the arrow of Civil Engineering, a friend ask me is that was monument had been retained after the exhibition.

Effectively, the arrow was kept some time after the Expo 58 ... 12 years only.Indeed, it was blown up in September 1970, it seems that it became a ruin dangerous ! but given the number of charges of dynamite that were needed to put down, the reasons should be more!

Below are two press clippings.

Announcement of his impending death in April 1970 :

fleche_derniere_heure_01_04_1970_80.jpg

The end, in september 1970 :

soir_12_09_197_8000.jpg

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In that of 1855 was added a section of Fine Arts... and for the little story, this new section was not totally appreciated, especially I think, because of the way the work was presented, look this photo :

It looks like one of those exhibits that is also a sale or auction. As soon as one is sold and taken off the wall, another in about the same size frame is pulled from the back room and hung on the wall in its place.

Something like a meat market I'm afraid.

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Yes Randy, it was pretty scary, we can understand why some artists have chosen to exhibit their works outside of the exposition.

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Merci, content que ça plaise... il faut bien avouer que cette réalisation, en 1958 était pleine d'une originalité que l'on peut encore saluer aujourd'hui ! :o

La flèche est terminée, enfin presque, puisqu'il lui manque ce pour quoi elle fut réalisée ! la passerelle qui permettait de "survoler à pied" la carte de la Belgique à l'échelle 1/3500 ème, puis de se rendre au pavillon du Génie Civil.

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Dans la continuité, on voit très bien les deux types de passerelle béton... celle qui est fixe, et la partie suspendue.

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That's the true role of this Arrow, too often forgotten in the articles, or just photographed at the time. Of course, even if the feats of winning in forms regarding the Arrow itself, the footbridge is inseparable, if only for a matter of balance.

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The footbridge have 2.5 meters wide and 5 meters in height allowed visitors to see the map of Belgium.

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The footbridge was 58.60 meters without intermediate column, and was only supported by the Arrow concrete.

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This bridge was also in concrete, forming a horizontal beam of 55.60 meters that can both withstand the weight of the crowd but also to the action of wind on the crowd.

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The winding route of the walkway under the Arrow..

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The lines were 16 in number, each consisted of a tube of 25mm diameter, reinforced inside with 3 wires of hard steel 7mm diameter each.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_020_800.jpg

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Well... I'm so late !

Continuation of the project, which was the reason for the Arrow of Civil Engineering, the map of Belgium at 1/3500.

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Too bad most of the photographs of the time did not make this, it's clear that footbridge supported by the Arrow, which will visit Belgium.

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I lost a lot of time last week, between my trips to Paris, and other projects in progress... sad.gif

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The arrow that supports a footbridge, then go to the pavilion of Civil Engineering, as there was still a real pavilion.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_026_800.jpg

The pavilion, we tend to forget too ... Hall is a metal frame, with two floors, containing the development and details of the activity of the Belgian Civil Engineering.

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Now, we can understand the logical flow and fun of this tour, which starts right by the staircase, which continues on the bridge supported by the Arrow, while we observed under his feet the economic activity of .. Belgium . to finish by visiting the exhibition building...

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...in the purest style "improved hangar".

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It remains for me to carry pavilions of the local environment ... Food Industries - Tour Eternit - Urbanism - Glass, Ceramics and Clay, Buildings and Dwellings - and a metal tower that I forgot the name !

wip_1958_Bruxelles_030_800.jpg

Once here, it will still achieve the Atomium, then the facade "modern" the great palace of Heysel ... and finally, the detailing of the map of Belgium, which will not be the easiest because of the lack of photos .... courage laugh.gif

wip_1958_Bruxelles_031_800.jpg

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Thanks a lot Bill... I have the first, but the second one interest me a lot... laugh.gif

I will start to work on this part next friday.

But as you see, this part will be not very easy to rebuilt... I think having to cheat in the film. sad.gif

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It's time to go to pavilions around the Civil Engineering Arrow. It starts with one which was just behind, and continue along the Avenue of Construction, the Palace of Food Industries.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_032_800.jpg

It's a pavilion of large size, which we see here that the smallest front. It was designed by architects J. Cuisinier and J. Schotte.

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The theme of this pavilion was: "From down on the food industry for a better diet for men. It was a synthesis of progress made over the last fifty years in the food industry.

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Twelve professionals and two institutions exposing on 4 main themes represented by impressive frescoes:

- The raw agricultural

- The contribution of industry,

- Trade through distribution

- Household consumption.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_035_800.jpg

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The quality of this photo is not very good, but pretty funny, with that man working alone, in "belgium" laugh.gif

1958_carte_dessart.jpg

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In the near environment of the Civil Engineering Arrow, was discovered at the bottom, the Tower Eternit to its right, the pavilion followed by the Urban Glass, Ceramics and earthenware.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_036_800.jpg

The pavilion of Urban Development, designed by architects Goffaux and Vanden Berghe was quite impressive: 160 meters long and 6000m ² in area.

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Here we discover the Tower Eternit ... essential visual element that I almost did not realize, because it's the symbol of the use of a material which at the time, presented many advantages and no disadvantages! that has changed today, because it is asbestos. In 1958, this revolutionary material was going to be in all building materials, floor to ceiling!

Anyway, I wouldn't stop it in the movie.

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The further away from the arrow, most pavilions are treated simply because they are hardly seen, very quickly.

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An overview, which lacks only the pavilion of buildings and dwellings, close to the horizon, toward the Avenue of the Atomium.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_040_800.jpg

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Thanks a lot Bill... in fact, this era is less easy for me... I'm more old world's fair... but the arrow is especially original to find a strong motivation !

Subsequently, on the left of this first image, the pavilion of Buildings and Dwellings ... an achievement rather rough I must confess. Is it because of its lack of originality? Is he still has not been much photographed!

wip_1958_Bruxelles_041_800.jpg

In the background, we have another visual essential element, this steel tower with a sphere at the top ... I also find no documentation about it !

wip_1958_Bruxelles_042_800.jpg

It lacks the Atomium in background.

wip_1958_Bruxelles_043_800.jpg

wip_1958_Bruxelles_044_800.jpg

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The quality of this photo is not very good, but pretty funny, with that man working alone, in "belgium"

A wife probably "accidentally" dropped her wedding ring from the footbridge, and the husband is made to go look for it. :D

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