Selexyz Dominicanen

DATE: 2007
LOCATION: Maastricht, the Netherlands, EU
OLD USE: Dominican church, parish, warehouse, archive, bicycle storage
NEW USE: Bookstore


This 800-year old building once served this Dutch community as a Dominican church. Built in 1294, the Dominicans gave up the structure in 1794 when Maastricht was invaded by Napoleon and the religious order was forced out. Since that time it has served as a parish, then a warehouse, then an archive, and most recently as a bicycle storage location.[1]


Selexyz, one of the larger chains of bookstores in the Netherlands, teamed up with Merkx + Girod to completely repurpose the old, significant building.


The building is again flowing with life and activity. Located in one of the country’s oldest cities, the adaptation “retains the character and charm of the old church, while being fitted with a minimalist and modern interior design that overcomes any suggestion of fustiness.”[2] Thanks to its massive ceiling height, two additional floors were added by a three-story black steel book stack to provide additional retail space. A cafe has been incorporated into the former choir alongside a seating area where shoppers can relax at the back of the building. A cross-shaped reading table was even included in the cafe area as homage to its past.[3]

[2]The Guardian

Images courtesy of sjoerdphoto and Inhabitat.