An old Dominican church originally constructed in 1294 is now a “brand new” bookstore in the heart of Maastricht.
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Great job, Merkx + Girod! A perfect balance of old meets the new. We’ve collected a few more similar church renovation projects in a video (church repurposed into a gym, playground, houses, etc.). Watch here if interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_Pk2iPFGx8
That church was built when Maastricht was part of the episcopal principality of Liège, (in Belgium -30 km South of Maastricht) and it was “decommissioned” in 1794 – but, at least, it survived (unlike Liège’s St.Lambert cathedral, which was torn down and never rebuilt.
For the Maastricht church to be used as a bookstore was an interesting idea (and probably a better use of the structure than having it serve as a stable, a grain store or -as happened to some admittedly smaller churches I have seen in France, Italy or Spain- as an auto repair shop or as a pinball alley…
And (for Chris’ benefit), the Dutch economy is not “collapsing” – I am not so sure about Britain (or the US)…
Chris you need to be nutured. Its done. Get over it.
I love this idea. If a beautiful piece of architecture is not being used anymore, its great to give it a new purpose. And the bookstore is more likely to keep the site in good condition. The bike parking looked like a lot of fun, but I can see how quickly the structure could get damaged.
this is an abomination to history. it adds nothing and only takes from the austerity and majesty of the place. it is shameful. i’m aware that vendor fairs were common inside churches in the middle ages, but to install a gigantic black metal structure right in the middle is just tragic (and the rock gym is even worse!). are europeans resentful of their past? i don’t get it. and on top of it, who goes to bookstores anyway!? no wonder their economies are collapsing (except for Germany and Britain, and Norway who is funded by oil).
[…] We are simply awe-struck by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto’s Hanging Garden sculpture, which was recently installed in the abandoned Holy Cross Church of Cincinnati. The organic artwork consists of a living tree supported by an inverted, uprooted dead tree, delicately suspended in a deserted worship space. […]
[…] Ancient Church Turned Modern Bookstore […]
i think that in certain instances reusing old buildings for new purposes can be good but i dont think that applies here.
Its clearly a magnificent gothic style cathedral. Its beautiful as is and placing a ton of books in the middle of a cathedral nave is really not a way to worship the architecture at all. any modernisation of a building from a former era should compliment the building in such a way that the authenticity and era in which it was created is shown and experienced.
Yeah, certain views of the books can look great but the way in which they have designed the space entirely takes away from the originality of the cathedral itself.
They should compliment eachother, exaggerate the beauty of one another. Instead here you see the new design entirely over powering the original to a point where it is lost – what a pity.
WOW! What a breathtaking space!
This is truly a magnificent place. I went there frequently while studying in Maastricht. The city also has a very high end hotel that utilizes an ancient church.
Really beautiful pictures. It’s always great to see architechture that is sensitive to the original build. I blogged your post here! http://blog.likeyougiveadamn.com/design/ancient-church-modern-bookstore/
I worship here: http://www.architectureweek.com/2006/0920/culture_1-1.html – A 15th Century Church in Bristol (UK) that has been converted into an indoor climbing centre.
magnificent. I’d worship there.
A great project, well worth covering. This was also the cover story in ArchitectureWeek last week:
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