Street artists like Banksy and Space Invader have been playing with city dwellers for years, placing their work strategically for maximum impact. In fact, artists around the globe are constantly integrating their artwork into the landscape in unexpected ways. Working in large and small scale, the techniques and scope of work differ, but one thing they all have in common is their clever use of space.
We’ve seen some breathtaking libraries in the past and this bookstore is no exception when it comes to innovative design. One branch of the popular Dutch bookstore chain Selexyz can be found right inside of a 13th century Dominican church in Maastricht, Holland. The project known as Selexyz Dominicanen Maastricht, designed by architecture firm Merkx + Girod, exemplifies a brilliant union between the opposing aesthetics. The space maintains the church’s architectural structure and definitive design attributes while inviting the contemporary stylings of a modern bookstore.
Built in 1294, the cathedral features large open spaces boasting three-story bookshelves. Being that the church contains 1,200 square meters of shopping space with only 750 square meters of floor space, the architects decided to design vertically. They incorporate the modern scheme of the shop without obstructing the religious motifs or structure of the ancient venue. Within the space, there is also a cafe. As a nod to the bookstore’s past-life, there is a long table shaped like a cross in the eating area, which is conveniently located where the choir formerly situated themselves.