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TRADE MART – AN EMBLEM OF THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE
The ADAM has a surface of 5,000m² in the Trade Mart building in Brussels [Heysel plateau]. A finely crafted structure, created by the American architect John Portman [born in 1924]. In 1975 it was one of the biggest exhibition halls in the world. This curious, enormous construction does not have a “forceful presence” but in its typology and composition (regarding both layout and façade) it forms a highly unique example of “international style” architecture, a corporate version of brutalism.
The building has a very strong structure. A system of supporting slabs composed of a network of sections, coupled with pillars spaced 7.5 metres apart, the whole structure is arranged on a square framework and makes a very powerful, omnidirectional ensemble. It forms a ‘neutral’ grid somewhat reminiscent of the work of radical architects during the 1960s.
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