For many, reading a good book can be a religious experience, but this new bookstore in Zwolle, The Netherlands takes that idea to a whole new level. Architects BK. Architecten were tasked with converting this 15th century Dominican church into a modern bookstore with the addition of 700 square meters of shopping space. But there was one major catch: all the historical elements of the 547-year-old building including stained glass windows, pipe organ, ceiling paintings and expansive arches had to remain intact.
Incredibly, BK. Architecten managed to add three levels of retail space to the side wings of the church in a manner that the entire structure can one day be removed in order to restore the church to its original design. In addition only three colors of building materials were used to mimic the existing palette of the cathedral’s interior to further ensure that the bookstore would pay reverence to the original space.
The foundation responsible for the construction of the famous Sagrada Família church in Barcelona recently released a video depicting what the final stages of construction will look like as nearly 150 years of building (and delays) finally wraps up in 2026. The breathtaking clip combines footage shot from a helicopter with computer-animated renderings to show what the basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, will look like. The structure is said to be “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.” Read more over on Co.Design. (via Design TAXI)
Something’s up in Provo, Utah and it weighs around seven million pounds. It’s the 112-year-old exterior of the Provo Tabernacle that was severely damaged in a 2010 fire but has since been saved by the LDS church so it can be converted into a temple. Engineers first gutted the damaged interior and then supported the exterior walls with special scaffolding as they dug down to create space for a two story basement, so in actuality the building hasn’t even moved. The entire structure is now on stilts some 40 feet in the air and from some angles appears to be floating above ground, such as in the first photograph above provided by Brian Hansen. Additional photos courtesy the LDS Newsroom.
The Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is considered one of the crowning examples of organic architecture, a philosophy credited to Frank Lloyd Wright that promotes a harmony between the natural world and human habitation. The non-denominational chapel was designed in 1980 by an apprentice of Wright’s, architect E. Fay Jones, who employed the use of steel and glass to create a weightless, almost translucent structure that offers sweeping views in all directions of the surrounding Ozark habitat. In keeping with the organic design of the chapel Fay asked that no construction element be larger than what two people could carry through the woods by hand.
Recently a power company has applied to build a 48-mile high voltage transmission line through Northwest Arkansas that will cut through the woods right next to the chapel, shattering the views and serenity offered by the extremely unique building that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. For those interested, the Arkansas Public Service Commission is accepting comments from the public regarding the proposed power line construction. You can also read much more over on Hyperallergic.
The Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, Tennessee is a 100ft structure built by minister Horace Burgess from the early 1990s through 2004. The entire building wraps around a giant tree and was built completely without blueprints, sprawling to an estimated 10,000 square feet inside, including a four-story swing set. Photographer Kristin Sweeting took a recent trip to the treehouse and took many of the photos above. You can also see more images by Chuck Sutherland who provided the image on top.
Welome to the mothership. Actually, welcome to St. Joseph’s Church in Le Havre, France. Built from 1951-58 this Roman Catholic church built in a Neo-Gothic style acts as a memorial to the 5,000 civilians from the city who died during World War II. The sombre cement steeple rises over 350 feet and when photographed from the inside results in some pretty striking imagery that looks like it belongs on the set of Aliens or in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Many more photos here. (photos courtesy eole wind, olivier, pa_le, cyril, sebastien ferrand)