The Bibliotheca Wittockiana is situated close to an undulating parkdotted with calm lakes on the edge of the Forêt de Soignes, yet still within the city of Brussels, in the commune of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.
Michel Wittockcommissioned his friend, the architect Emmanuel de Callataÿ, to build his library. Like a protective shell, the building is built into the ground, hidden under trees and ivy. The walls, of powerfully striated raw concrete showing traces of formwork, were designed to protect and conserve the collections. Inside is a series of simple spaces; the exhibition rooms are a place for reflection, a closed space but full of light from the diagonally-placed arrow slit windows.
The first floor was not added until 12 years later. Designed and built by Charly Wittock, the plan was to top the existing building with a light, open construction to house the living areasincluding offices, a large exhibition space and a large reading room.