By West Coast Perspective @ buffalorising.com
A wave of churches looking for new congregations or uses is coming, primarily due to the mergers and closings under the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s Journey in Faith and Grace restructuring effort. Adaptive reuse of a church is expensive and difficult, though not impossible. Examples of successful transformations are available locally and worldwide. Buffalo has seen former churches turned into condos (on Richmond), manuscript museums (Porter and North), lofts (Parkside Avenue), performance spaces (Main, Delaware and Richmond), offices (Elmwood) and a community center/school (Genesee). In Amsterdam, a former church has undergone a stunning conversion to a bookstore.
Dutch architects Merkx + Girod won the 2007 Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize for their Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht – a chain bookstore inside an 800-year old former church. Architects were challenged to respect the original use and nature of the structure while creating enough commercial space for a viable business. (more...)