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Thread: A book store made in Heaven

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default A book store made in Heaven




    Whoever said that reading was a religious experience was right, especially when taking a visit to Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands.

    Having just won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007, this newest addition to the Selexyz book chain is well worth the visit to this medieval city if you are ever in the area.



    Erected inside a former 800 year old Dominican church, this bookstore is said to hold the largest stock of books in English in Maastricht, one of the oldest cities in the country.

    It was always going to be a challenging task for Amsterdam based architects Merkx + Girod who designed the space, to stay true to the original character and charm of the church, whilst also achieving a desirable amount of commercial space (there was only an available floor area of 750 m2, with a proposed retail space of 1200 m2). Taking advantage of the massive ceiling, both have been achieved through the construction of a multi-storey steel structure which houses the majority of the books. This is one giant bookshelf, with stairs and elevators taking shoppers and visitors alike, up to the heavens (mind the pun), to roof of the church.



    To maintain a sense of symmetrical balance in the space, lower tables of best sellers and latest releases have been added to either side, and of course a small cafe at the back for readers to relax and enjoy a hot drink.

    Overall a great example of how with clever thinking, spatial solutions can both achieve a suitable retail presence, whilst still respecting and remaining true to the original structure. By Brendan Mc Knight

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I love reading and I love churches, but I can't help but feel this setup detracts from the loveliness and flow of the church's architecture. It's like they simply superimposed a public library over a beautiful ancient church. The two don't complement each other, imo.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i love it. and lots of european cities have started selling or renting out old churches because people simply don't attend church anymore and are less and less religious. there was an article about it in newsweek or time a while back - there are churches in italy that have been turned into pizzerias, gyms, discos, converted into lofts/flats, etc... it's a way too keep these old churches alive.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    I love reading and I love churches, but I can't help but feel this setup detracts from the loveliness and flow of the church's architecture. It's like they simply superimposed a public library over a beautiful ancient church. The two don't complement each other, imo.
    I agree.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    There used to be a nightclub here in NY that was in an old church....The Limelight, for those old enough to remember it
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Hit By Ban Bus!
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    i would just go to take pics!! that is phenomenal!

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    looks nice

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    There used to be a nightclub here in NY that was in an old church....The Limelight, for those old enough to remember it
    That sounds like a cool set up. I actually saw a depiction of that club in an X-MEN issue from the 80s. /geek>

    The bookstore looks awesome, btw. I could see myself spending hours in there.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

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