Merkx+Girod architects winner of 2007 Dutch Interior Design Prize

Merkx+Girod architects winner of 2007 Dutch Interior Design Prize

The annual ‘Lensvelt de Architect’ interior design prize for 2007 has been awarded to Merkx+Girod architects for their design of the Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore in Maastricht.

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.”

Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen by Merkx+Girod architects

Merkx+Girod architects were asked by the Dutch booksellers Selexyz to convert the interior of the former Dominican Church in Maastricht into a modern bookstore. For the same client M+G had previously designed two bookstores in the cities of The hague and Almere. The unique location in Maastricht however asked for a very different approach.

The store demanded 1.200 square meters of commercial area where only 750 were available.
The initial idea of the client to install an second floor within the church was rejected by the designers, because this would completely destroy the spatial qualities of the church. The solution was found in the creation of monumental walk-in bookcase spanning several floors and situated a-symmetrically in the church. In doing so the left side of the church remained empty while on the other side customers are lead upstairs in the three storey ‘Bookflat.’ Climbing thus becomes an experience and the reward lies in the close encounter with the ancient murals and stunning views. The ‘bookflat’ is a clear contemporary gesture, an independent statement, that also pays hommage to the monumental church.

The groundfloor gives room to several different bookdisplays, informationdesks, magazine-stands and cashregisters, all made of standard sheet materials in different colours and surfaces. The former altar now houses the ‘Coffeelovers’ café with a large central reading table shaped as a cross.


Project: Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen Maastricht, (selexyz)
Client: Boekhandels Groep Nederland, (bgn)
Architect: Merkx+Girod architects
Team: Evelyne Merkx, Patrice Girod, Bert de Munnik, Abbie Steinhauser, Pim Houben, Josje Kuiper, Ramon Wijsman, Ruben Bus
Restauration: Satijnplus architects
Realisation: 2007
Surface: 1.200 m2
Photography: Roos Aldershoff

4 Responses to “Merkx+Girod architects winner of 2007 Dutch Interior Design Prize”
  1. yatzerina says:

    what a great source for design research….

  2. mattus says:

    Another good reason to visit the city of Maastricht!

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