Though bookstores often take over old buildings, most shops don’t inhabit old churches. A bookstore in the Netherlands, however, is an exception to that rule. In 2007, Seleyx, a Dutch chain, hired architect firm Merkx+Girod to convert an old Dominican church in Maastricht, Netherlands into a bookshop. In order to maintain the architectural integrity of the space, Merkx+Girod kept the ceiling open and created multilevel bookshelves among which patrons could walk. Seleyx didn’t want to simply obliterate the 700 year old building but instead hoped to find a better use for the space.
It looks like they succeeded.
The result is a stunning place where people can wander rows of books, observe the art that still clings to the walls, and enjoy a drink from the coffee shop on the former church’s main level. If I ever make my way to the Netherlands, I’ll have to try and see it in person.
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Image Attributions: All images from Merkx+Girod, http://merkx-girod.nl/en/projects/retail/shops/selexyz-bookstore/dominicanen-maastricht, Accessed 31 January 2017.