Merkx+Girod — Boekhandel Dominicanen

Boekhandel Dominicanen is a bookstore inside of an old Dominican church dating all the way back to the 13th century, built well before the town of Maastricht was invaded by Napoleon in 1794. Since then, the space has been used as a parish, a warehouse, an archive, a big parking lot for bicycles, and finally a bookstore.

The interior design for the store was made possible by Amsterdam—based architecture firm Merkx+Girod, who were brought in with the challenge of turning a 750 m² commercial space into a 1,200 m² space, as their client demanded. They accomplished this by installing three-story black steel bookcases stretching up to the stone ceiling, with the highest shelves reachable by lift or by a set of stairs built into the shelving.

The result is an incredible space with an arguably timeless respect for old and new design.