18 June, 2010

Sacrum vs Profanum - church buildings redesigned

What happens with Genius Loci, the spirit, the soul of the place, when the building had been redesigned? And what happens when sacrum becomes profanum?


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The White Rabbit Restaurant & bar in Singapore

Charming restaurant housed in beautifully restored old chapel. The interior was redesigned from an abandoned church building by Takenouchi Webb. Visit the architects website and have a look at the photos from restoration.

www.takenouchiwebb.com










































via: Yatzer 


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Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht

The bookshop installation was designed by Merkx-Girod Architects (Ewelyne Merkx and Patrice Girod). The architects aimed to emphasize the architecture of 13th-century Dominican church without destroying its unique quality. A monumental, multi-level "bookcase" was designed and asymmetrically positioned embracing the gothic columns of the main nave. Wandering between books, the visitors can experience the atmospheric, medieval interior and admire historical murals. The interior design concept was awarded The Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007.
I like the humorous accent, a crucifix-shaped table at coffee bar in presbytery. And note the amazing aureole-like chandelier! Playing with blasphemy?

www.merkx-girod.nl





































photography by Roos Aldershoff, via: urbarama


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Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

Housed in beautiful, 15th-century Kruisheren cloister and gothic church, the hotel seems to be a dream. Interiors, contrasting modern, designer furniture with historic murals and old stained glass windows, were created by Henk Vos.
I smiled at the motto of the hotel: "Design between heaven and earth". The exclusive interiors were proudly furnished with the works of Le Corbusier, Rietveld, Marc Newson, Piet Heyn Eeck and Philippe Starck. The light installations are by Ingo Maurer. Snobbish heaven!



20 comments:

  1. Amazing!
    Often churches are so obscure but theese ones are really luminous! It's all so beautiful and modern! I love it the way they've been transformed!

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  2. these are dreamy. i visited a church once in patzcuaro, mexico that had been turned in to a library. it was very cool

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  3. I hate this one with a bookstore. For me it look awful. I don't know why but it is kind of intruder in the church's interior. Restaurant it is quiet nice idea - good musich, good food - it's a dream. And church's interior is in connection with it.

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  4. Mikołaj, you really surprise me this time, because I'm genuinely fascinated by the bookstore design. It does really interact with the medieval interior and somehow is not disturbing its perception.

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  5. Fantastic findings. When i think about above - bookstore better suits former church, because restaurant also disturbs with a smell, bookstore is more sacrum than restaurant is. This is how I feel. But I have nothing against redesigning churches.

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  6. Mnemonique, I do agree. What is more, by placing the bookstore in there, the beauty of the medieval church had be revived. Maybe it is better for the church to get a second life and become a store, than ruins...

    And thanks again, it was you that inspired me (the hotel).

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  7. I love the bookstore idea! Reading books in a quiet surrounding of medieval church...it has very spiritual effect. Reminds me the serenity of monks singing their hymns? Love your picks!
    ps: my Tamina post was on Apr. 22 :) xo

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  8. What a beautiful post! Especially the last two churches in Maastricht. Maastricht is a beautiful city.

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  9. Big fan of this idea! These spaces are breathtaking!

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  10. I love these converted churches, especially the restaurant. There is a similar one in Atlanta, GA called The Abbey...

    xoxox,
    CC

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  11. It's really, really cool! Thanks for sharing.
    Have a lovely weekend! (Sweden celebrate Midsummer Eve tomorrow).

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  12. hi there, your blog is gorgeous, i'm so glad i dropped by!

    there's something eery and creepy about restored churches becoming other establishments... like divine forces are still watching over the goings on. the pictures are beautiful!

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  13. S
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    I love your blog, this lovely post & your kind comments on my blog!! Thank you!!

    Agneta

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  14. i'm not so sure... i'm not a religious person, but i have great reverence for church buildings both as religious and historical evidence. maybe we should keep some things as they are - even if the redesign is both creative and humorous?

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  15. I stayed twice in the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht. Its an experience you never forget! I really recomment this hotel!

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  16. Definately great ideas!!! I loved all the stylish spaces in the top images!

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  17. That are amazing designs, I like the combination of the modern interior with the classic original Church architecture. The new function of the buildings combine perfectly with the original one. Wonderful!

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  18. This is fantastic! Several years ago I was in the belgian city Gent, and there I saw a small church 'squeesed' in among other buildings, and this church(in gothic style) was now a clothing shop...I will never forget it. Thanks for this post, and thanks for your nice comments on my blog. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  19. I just discovered your blog, very interesting (I sub to follow it!). Have a look on my blog, I've a post about Kruisherenhotel and a lot of design hotels. Maybe you'll find inspiration...! :-)

    http://hotelsdesign.blogspot.com

    Have a nice day!

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  20. can anyone send me a link for the plans of the white rabbit restaurant? thank you

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