This amazing church conversion proves that buildings can be re-purposed and still lend their original charm to the new establishment. The Selexyz Bookstore in Maastricht used to be an old church until Amsterdam-based architectural studio Merkx + Girod adorned the stunning interiors with contemporary library details that marry both styles. Holland showcases some impressive church reconversion – like the House in a Church, designed by Ruud Visser Architects or the Gothic Church in Utrecht, transformed into a contemporary home by Zecc Architects – but this project focuses on a social space rather than a private one. Gathered under the imposing ceiling of this 13th century Dominican church, thousands of books inspire people to follow their dreams while carefully constructing a view of the future – respecting past architecture while maintaining the interest for modern upgrades. The 1,200 square meter church features vertical multi-story bookshelves shaping a fascinating library interior design and a cafe showcasing a cross-shaped main table, with rounded tables and stools all around – this is the space formerly occupied by the choir. Keeping most of the original interiors intact, the architects managed to convert a holy space into a knowledge fountain.
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