Two years ago the first European summit under European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy was staged in the historic building.
Architects Henri van de Velde and Constant Bosmans designed the Solvay Library at the request of Belgian captain of industry Ernest Solvay. In recent years the building had been standing empty since 1981. In 1988 the first plans for a refurbishment were drawn up.
The European jury said that the restoration of the Solvay Library is an example of great craftsmanship. The prize is an initiative of the European Union and the Europa Nostra organisation. 226 Heritage sites vied for the prize. In the event the number was whittled down to 28.