The Solvay Library, a venue infused with ideas

This is a magnificent venue created by the vision of one man, Ernest Solvay, in this ancient sociology institute where scientists from around the world came together to share their thoughts and ideas. In this park, Nobel Prize scientists such as Einstein and Bohr gathered for the famous Solvay Conferences. No wonder the venue resonates with brilliant minds!

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The vision of a man who changed the way people think

The sociology institute was created in 1902 through the vision of one man, Ernest Solvay, an extremely wealthy industrialist, progressive humanist, philosopher and enlightened senator.
In 1894, he implored the government to create an organism to scientifically analyse social issues, and received a deafening silence. Being an entrepreneur at heart, he therefore decided to create this organism by himself. The Institute of Sociology was born. The objective was to create a research laboratory and meeting place for scientists. It was a first in Europe.

Few years later, near the sociology institute, Ernest Solvay also created the Science Park. For 20 years it would be the heart of his famous Solvay Conferences where great minds from the scientific world would meet every year.

A unique design carved in an multifaced architectural style

Meanwhile Solvay entrusted the management of his Institute of Sociology to a renowned professor, Emile Waxweiler. He developped the original shape of the building, transforming it into a centralised area with numerous satellite offices, symbolic of the multi-disciplinary dimension he was looking for.

The idea was conceptualised by the renowned Brussels architects Constant Bosmans and Henri Vandeveld. They drew up the plans and carried out the construction work. The Institute of Sociology was completed in 1902.

Decline and rebirth

In the 1980’s, the building was abandoned and fell into ruin. Thankfully, after being listed historical monument in 1986, it was saved and fully renovated by the Region and in 1994.

Today, in this elegant library with its diverse and complex style worthy of a novel, Edificio can host private and professional events from 50 to 250 guests.

Design your event at Solvay Library

With experience and expertise, Edificio will take care of the entire process of making your event a success. Our team of multilingual professionals works closely with you from A to Z in the organisation of your event, private or public, with know-how and accomplished soft skills.

Find out more about our services

Book your event at Solvay Library

Our Cultural Agenda at Solvay Library

To bring this magical venue to life, Edificio propose also cultural events open to everybody, throughout the year. This is what happens at Solvay Library. Be welcome.

Solvay Library: practical details


Behind its sober and classic façade, Solvay Library conceals an eclectic style with precious-wood décor, mosaics and coloured glass.

Three spaces are available for you:

  • The magnificent Lecture Room on the ground floor, renovated to its exact former state.
  • The former archive vault, located in the basement, has been renovated in a contemporary style, perfect for hosting lunches, coffee breaks or networking drinks.
  • The terrace and parvis with a splendid view on the Leopold Park.
Setup Cocktail Dinner Theater Schoolroom Board Room
Lecture Room 225 150 150 80  40
Terrace 30 30 / / /
Mezzanine East 75 45 60 / 20
Mezzanine West 75 45 60 / 20
Seminar Room 100 60 80 / 36
Rotunda 150 100 / / /
Seminar Room & Rotunda 250 160 / /


We will make you discover our virtuosity in culinary matter. To protect our fragile venues, we only work with preferred partners.

They know the spaces perfectly and share our values of quality, professionalism, perfection and environmental care.

Audiovisual equipment

Our preferred partners take care of your AV requirements on site. With their experience, professionalism and technical understanding of the venues, they will give you the highest technical standards possible in our protected venues.

General information

A regular Wi-Fi network is available. Should you require a more specific use, our ICT team will provide you with a tailor-made solution.
All our venues are easily accessible via public transports. Car parks are located nearby. Please find more information in the documents below:

Come to Solvay Library

Rue Belliard 137
1040 Brussels
+32 2 738 75 96
[email protected]

The Solvay Library is easily accessible via public transports. Car parks are located nearby – ask Edificio’s team about special rates available.