The Design Museum Brussels has a surface of 5,000m² in the Trade Mart building in Brussels [Heysel plateau] [plateau du Heysel]. A finely crafted structure, created by the American architect John Portman [né en 1924] [born in 1924] [1975]. 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.