Church conversion

Holiday season is over, postings continue... For instance, one of the most stunning pieces of architecture that I've seen lately:

Conversions of churches are generally a tricky business. On one hand, there's a monumental spaciousness and aura of the interiour, and on the other there are the pragmatic needs of the new programme.
In a former Dominican church in Maastricht (the Netherlands), the Dutch architects Merkx + Girod designed a bookshop: Selexyz Dominicanen. They restored the grandeur of the church, and let the new programme give space to the atmospherics of the place. In order to still obtain the commercially needed amount of square metres, the architects designed a free-standing, two storey steel element. It looks like a giant walk-in bookshelf, positioned to one side of the former church assembly hall. By the design, the chruch is still very readable, but also functions well as a bookstore. Stunning. It's no wonder that the architects won the Lensvelt de Architect interior prize 2007...

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