Edificio@Bibliothèque Solvay

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Edificio@Bibliothèque Solvay

This magnificent venue was born of the vision of one man, Ernest Solvay _ a wealthy industrialist, progressive humanist, thinker and enlightened senator. In 1894, he called on the government to create an organisation for the scientific examination of social issues and was met with deafening silence. An entrepreneur at heart, he then decided to create such an organisation himself. In this way, the Institute of Sociology came into being. Its objective? To create a research laboratory and meeting space for scientists. It was the first of its kind in Europe. At the same time, besides the Institute of Sociology, Ernest Solvay also created the City of Science. For 20 years, the latter was the home of the famous “Solvay Councils”, where big-name scientists from all over the world (such as Einstein, Bohr and other Nobel Laureates) would meet on an annual basis. Meanwhile, he appointed a renowned professor, Émile Waxweiler, to manage his Institute of Sociology. Waxweiler was the driving force behind the site’s unusual form. The place was transformed into a central space surrounded by a multitude of offices, reflecting the multidisciplinary character intended for the venue. The idea was conceptualised by the famous Brussels-based architects Constant Bosmans and Henri Vandeveld. They were responsible for both the design and construction of the buildings. The Institute of Sociology came into being in all its Eclectic beauty in 1902. In the 1980s, the site was abandoned, forgotten and at risk of disappearing. Listed as a monument in 1988, it was preserved and restored by the Brussels-Capital Region and Citydev.brussels (formerly the Society for the Development of the Brussels-Capital Region) in 1994. Today, it is in this magnificent library with its complex style, worthy of a novel, that Edificio organises private and professional events for 50 to 250 people. (Listed 08/08/1988)

Practical information

  • Léopold Park – Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 137
    1000 Brussels
    • Sat. & Sun. from 10h00 to 18h00 (last admission at 17h30)
    • M
      Maelbeek/Maalbeek
    • B
      Parc Léopold/Leopoldspark