Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, has inaugurated the House of European History in Brussels, a project of the European Parliament which was designed by Spanish company ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD).
The House of European History will contribute to spreading the European Union project and the Europe movement based on an design developed by APD in close cooperation with the European Parliament's House of European history Academic Project team who prepared the content or narrative. The museum combines displays of original items with leading-edge interactive audiovisual elements to recreate Europe's recent history.
The House of European History spans 4,000 square metres of floor space and offers visitors a collection of objects and documents that reflect the both continent's diversity and its common roots. The museum project designed by ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño offers visitors content translated into the 24 official languages of the European Union. Visitors are given a tablet to guide them through the museum, automatically translating the content and offering additional information via a range of audiovisuals, pictures, graphics and texts.
The most outstanding item in the museum is an aluminium and steel sculpture 25 metres tall, called Voxtex of European History, that islocated in the atrium and rises alongside the staircase to the skylight, traversing all six floors of the building.
The sculpture is allegorical of the "union of diversity". It displays quotes from literature in the various languages and alphabets that exist within the Union in the form of a metal filigree that conforms the graphic texture like a mesh travelling through space.
The first floor houses temporary exhibitions, while the permanent exhibition commences on the second floor and provides an overview of the geographical changes and visions of Europe over time, together with a panorama of the continent's cultural, social and historical legacy.
The upper floors present the history of Europe in chronological order from the revolutionary period to the two World Wars, the tensions between democracy and totalitarianism and the political divide during the Cold War, up to the political demonstrations and protests in favour of democratisation of the socialist and southern countries that led up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a conclusion, the process of building Europe is shown in an attractive educational format.
On the top floor, visitors are invited to participate and express opinions on a range of European issues, learn about Brussels and enjoy an audiovisual that highlights and celebrates the cultural diversity of the countries in the Union.
Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament between 2007 and 2009, proposed the idea of the House of European History. In his inaugural address, he said that "it will be a place where we can cherish together the memory of European history and work for European unification, and it will be available so that citizens, now and in the future, can continue to shape the identity of Europe."
The House of European History is located in the Eastman building, in Parc Léopold, in the heart of the European district of Brussels. The building was built in 1933 as a dental clinic for disadvantaged children. Refurbishment workto convert it into a museum commenced in November 2012. In April 2013, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño was commissioned to design and execute the museographic project.