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Design

A 15th Century Cathedral Transformed into a Modern Bookstore

October 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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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.

Waanders in de Broeren opened earlier this summer and you can see many more views on the architect’s website. Photos by Joop van Putten and Hans Westerink. If you liked this you might also enjoy reading about a Walmart being converted into the largest single-story library in the United States. (via Arch Daily)

 

 



Design

New Video Depicts the Amazing Final Stages of Construction of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona

September 30, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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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)

 

 



Design History Photography

The Floating Temple: How to Lift a Seven Million Pound, 112-year-old Building

May 17, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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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.

 

 



Design

The Thorncrown Chapel, an Idyllic Glass Chapel in Rural Arkansas is Under Threat

May 7, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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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.