Gorgeous 15th-Century Church Renovated as a Modern Bookstore in The Netherlands

by , 11/15/13

green renovation, BK. Architecten, Zwolle Church renovation, Jos Burger, Wouter Keijzer, Kjell Nupen, Dutch architects, Netherlands church renovation, bookshops, bookshop design

Two architects, Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer of BK. Architecten, in charge of the renovation of the old church decided to preserve the atmosphere of the existing place with a spatial intervention that preserves its historical value. The three new floors were placed in the side wing of the church, between the original pillars, outside the central ship. The new construction is statically independent and can be removed without having to demolish the building.

The architects used three colors and white for the plastering work, keeping the main color palette warm. The main design tool when organizing the space was to get customers to the top floor. With this in mind they created a central staircase “wrapped” around an 11 meter bookcase. For the furniture, the architects were inspired by intricately detailed pieces their Dutch colleague Dom Hans van der Laan already designed for several monasteries.

+ BK. Architecten

Via Plataforma Arquitectura

Photos by Joop van Putten and Hans Westerink

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  1. mortisnoctu September 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    What God given doctrine did statements like these come out of?
    “Well, it demonstrates that the Dutch like other Europeans have forsaken God for the false God of materialism. Watch for the deluge.” “This sacrilegious Dutch pragmatism… God bless from Poland.”
    Really people? It is a pile of stone and other materials that the people of a church chose to worship within… That is it!!! The People of GOD are The Church not some inanimate structure. We have the whole of Earth to worship upon and you want to be cramped up and throw a fit if someone tries to spread some wisdom and knowledge in an empty space?

  2. RelayerM31 December 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    If it has a book it’s not modern. Bookstores are a dying breed. Maybe a church can buy the bookstore when it closes. Now THAT would be delicious.

  3. toja jaja December 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This sacrilegious Dutch pragmatism… God bless from Poland.

  4. Aclerc1941 December 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Well, it demonstrates that the Dutch like other Europeans have forsaken God for the false God of materialism. Watch for the deluge.

  5. HelenSB October 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is a wonderful article and THANKS to Nik Baerten and his team, for being an inspiration to the preservation of Historical buildings and yet using modern materials and innovation to carry on the use of these buildings in a transitional way for possible return to original uses.

  6. Nik Baerten September 17, 2013 at 5:39 am

    A few years ago the former Dominican church in Maastricht was also converted into a bookstore (see http://inhabitat.com/gorgeous-church-renovated-into-modern-bookstore/) . Nice to see Dom Hans van der Laan given credit as a major source of inspiration; all too often forgotten. More eye-candy of his awesome projects – well ahead of his time – at the website of the foundation at http://www.vanderlaanstichting.nl/en/visuals

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