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Worship the book

Worship the book

Posted on 27. Jan, 2010 by gilly in SEE

Who said you can’t sell and savor espresso, muffins and high-end cheesecakes in the altar of a 13th century church?

Turns out, you can.

A post-lunch stroll through innocent Maastricht last Saturday led us to the breathtaking Selexyz, aka the uber-cool bookshop cum café housed in a Dominican church. Like fusion cuisine, this architectural juxtaposition of ancient stone and religious bits with starkly modern steel lines gives one pause for thought. And all I could think as I struggled to keep my gaping mouth half shut was, well, whoodathunk? The audacity of Merkx+Girod, the architectural firm behind this momentous tour de force says “yes we can” in a way that makes you want to skip. And how about seamlessly integrating an entire (aesthetically perfect) black shelving system throughout the nave—complete with impeccable lighting, stairs and gangways—without drilling a single hole? Yes we can. Lift your dazzled eyes from the international magazine selection, the El Bulli cookbooks and the latest Elisabeth Gilbert novel (they have it, in English) and behold the beauty of the original frescoes (dated 1337) still adorning the ceiling. 1200 square meters of retail space, an unapologetic merging of centuries, respect mingled with nerve. Amen to all that.

One Response to “Worship the book”

  1. Gertrud

    05. Feb, 2010

    it was 1994 – and the Church in Sydney was such a fascinating and cool place to have a drink or to eat Kangarooh (what I never did as I am a conservative girl), I wonder if it still exists.

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