Inaugurated in 1958, as part of the first World’s Fair to be held after the Second World War, the Skyhall was nothing short of ground-breaking for its time. Belgian architects Maxime Brunfaut, Geo Bontinck and Joseph Moutschen designed the functional and modernist airport infrastructure around its awe-inspiring transit hall that took in over 5,000 m² and was built in innovative materials such as concrete and aluminium.
‘The architects at the time designed the hall as a bright open space to offer visitors a great view of the hive of activities around the airport’, explains Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist. ‘To honour the history that is bound with this iconic building, it was paramount to Brussels Airport that the Skyhall’s original look was preserved during the renovation, especially the iconic ceiling, whilst using modern and energy-efficient materials’.
Considerable technical challenge
It was incumbent on Brussels Airport to meld this past with the present and the future. To give it a new lease of life without getting rid of the history of the building that dates back more than six decades. And above all whilst keeping its original structure intact. Given its age, a full refurbishment of this iconic place was the obvious way forward: restoring this architectural masterpiece in all its glory and equipping it with the latest technologies. The challenge was considerable, all the more so as some of the old materials were hardly compatible with the modern-day amenities and fire protection and safety systems.
Open to prestigious events
The fully renovated Skyhall marks a new chapter in the history of airport. Stepping inside, you might feel as you are stepping back into the same bright and light-filled world the first passengers witnessed in 1958. To this very day, the huge bay window simply draws people’s gaze outdoors, at the airplanes.
‘We are confident that this exceptional room will soon become the gathering ground and venue for numerous top class national and international events’, Arnaud Feist goes on to add. ‘The Skyhall is a unique place in every sense. Event rooms that look out across the runways whilst simultaneously connecting to the departures and arrivals halls are extremely rare.’
The Skyhall can be booked as a venue for conferences, exhibitions and premium events as of April 2020.