Prestigious venues in Brussels

The Institute of Sociology, part of the Faculty of sciences of the Free University of Brussels, whose construction was sponsored and financed by the Belgian industrialist and benefactor Ernest Solvay, was inaugurated on 16th November 1902.

The sociologist Emile Waxweiler was responsible for designing the layout of the interior, based on the latest theories of academic education. Accordingly he conserved the central area of the building as a library, surrounded by numerous study rooms. These rooms were designed to encourage students and members of the academic staff to think individually and help develop education based on emulation learning.

The renowned Brussels architects Constant Bosmans and Henri Vandevelde drew up the building plans and supervised construction.

In 1967 the Institute of Sociology (as well as several other scientific establishments) moved to the nearby Solbosch university campus. Solvay Library then housed the university’s publishing business (les Editions de l’Université) until 1981.

This architectural ensemble in Euville stone remained unoccupied until 1993, and suffered from vandalism and dilapidation.  This gem of architecture and decorative art was listed as an historical building by the Historic Monument and Sites Department of the Brussels-Capital Region. The government of the Brussels-Capital Region entrusted the BRDA (Brussels Regional Development Agency, which commercial name is Citydev.brussels) with the mission to restore this gem of architecture.

This wonderful estate was reopened on 27th May 1994. The ground floor and first floor is now built around a magnificent lecture hall in the shape of a basilica, surrounded by studies and galleries. This whole area, including the stairwell, has been meticulously restored to its past glory. Considerable research was carried out based on photographs, prints, plans and other materials. All the architectural features that had been destroyed, including the most complex, were thus able to be redesigned and rebuilt, as in 1902.

In the basement, the heavily-partitioned old archive rooms have been renovated in a modern style, with walls taken down to create a large open space. This again has been carried out in keeping with architectural characteristics of the beginning of the last century.

The Institute of Sociology, part of the Faculty of sciences of the Free University of Brussels, whose construction was sponsored and financed by the Belgian industrialist and benefactor Ernest Solvay, was inaugurated on 16th November 1902.

The sociologist Emile Waxweiler was responsible for designing the layout of the interior, based on the latest theories of academic education. Accordingly he conserved the central area of the building as a library, surrounded by numerous study rooms. These rooms were designed to encourage students and members of the academic staff to think individually and help develop education based on emulation learning.

The renowned Brussels architects Constant Bosmans and Henri Vandevelde drew up the building plans and supervised construction.

In 1967 the Institute of Sociology (as well as several other scientific establishments) moved to the nearby Solbosch university campus. Solvay Library then housed the university’s publishing business (les Editions de l’Université) until 1981.

This architectural ensemble in Euville stone remained unoccupied until 1993, and suffered from vandalism and dilapidation.  This gem of architecture and decorative art was listed as an historical building by the Historic Monument and Sites Department of the Brussels-Capital Region. The government of the Brussels-Capital Region entrusted the BRDA (Brussels Regional Development Agency, which commercial name is Citydev.brussels) with the mission to restore this gem of architecture.

This wonderful estate was reopened on 27th May 1994. The ground floor and first floor is now built around a magnificent lecture hall in the shape of a basilica, surrounded by studies and galleries. This whole area, including the stairwell, has been meticulously restored to its past glory. Considerable research was carried out based on photographs, prints, plans and other materials. All the architectural features that had been destroyed, including the most complex, were thus able to be redesigned and rebuilt, as in 1902.

In the basement, the heavily-partitioned old archive rooms have been renovated in a modern style, with walls taken down to create a large open space. This again has been carried out in keeping with architectural characteristics of the beginning of the last century.