15th century Dutch church converted into 21st century bookstore

Most deconsecrated churches end up leaving the public realm, often turned into condo projects. Most bookstores just disappear. Not in the Netherlands; there, they smush the two dying institutions together and give them a new life. Designboom shows a stunning conversion of the Broerenherk Church in Zwolle, by BK Architecten.

© Joop van Putten via BK Architecten

Designboom calls it a "final transformation"; I doubt that is the case, given what is happening in the world of books. They write:

Now housing a shop, catering business, and exhibition space, the religious thematic is present throughout the entire structure, from the elaborately decorated vaulted ceilings to the beautiful stained glass windows. the intervening structure comfortably occupies the large open spaces of the colonnade without directly attaching to it.

© Hans Westerink via BK Architecten

Lots more photos at Designboom and BK Architecten

© Merkx + Girod

This is not the first church converted to a bookstore that we have shown; in 2007 Merkx+Girod Architecten converted a 13th century Dominican church in Maastricht, turning it into a magnificent shrine to the book.

Tags: Architects | Books | Netherlands | Preservation

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