Dutch architects Merkx + Girod have won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007 for their Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht - a bookstore inside a former Dominican church. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.
The prize jury said: "Merkx+Girod architects have created a contemporary bookshop in a former Dominican church, preserving the unique landmark setting. The church has been restored to its former glory and the utilities equipment has been housed in the extended cellar.
"In order to preserve the character of the church while achieving the desired commercial square footage, the architects erected a two-storey structure in black steel on one side, where the books are kept. Keeping the shop arrangement on the other side low created a clear and decipherable shop. The jury was very impressed by these spatial solutions, as well as by the gorgeous lighting plan. The combination of book complex and church interior were deemed particularly successful.”
Photos are by Roos Aldershoff. NB if you like this, have at look at Qubus Studio's interior for the St. Bartholomew’s Church in the village of Chodovice, Eastern Bohemia.