Though not the first, Utrecht-based BK. Architecten‘s 700-sqaure-meter bookstore is undoubtedly one of the most jaw-dropping examples we’ve seen of a repurposed church. Located in the Dutch city of Zwolle, the modern bookstore is housed in a 15th century Dominican church. Renovated by architects Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer, the space features beautiful new stained glass windows by Norwegian artist Kjell Nupen, thus allowing natural light to flood store while retaining the look and feel of the original structure – an aesthetic further aided by the use of furniture from Dom Hans van der Laan, a Dutch designer whose previous work includes pieces for a number of monasteries. To preserve the church itself, Burger and Keijzer constructed an independent, three-floor structure – one that can be completely removed while leaving the structural integrity of the church intact. Capping off the gorgeous interior and the centerpiece of the space is a central staircase that wraps around a lengthy bookcase, thus giving customers a bird’s-eye view of the entire store.
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