Reincarnated into everything from libraries to bars, it is interesting to witness the growing trend of transforming old cultural sites. With the buildings themselves holding such strong symbolism and history, fusing these ideas together with modern design, always makes for an inspiring assignment for designers and architects.

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The former Saint Jakobus Church in Utrecht, Netherlands is another remarkable project to add to this list. Constructed in 1870, the building has a lot of history attached to it. Not a lot has been altered to its exterior aside from its front tower which was demolished in 1889 due to foundation issues.

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After it ceased to be a place of worship, the interior still remains a blissful space, as it was wonderfully redesigned by ZECC Architects and Thomas Haukes in 2009. The usage of white and glass is a reoccurring theme, encouraging natural light to flood through its original stained glass windows. Thankfully, designers have kept other unique characteristics of the church intact. Religious imagery, pillars, organs and pews are objects that have remained from the church’s past, fusing harmoniously with the current modern interior.

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Overall, the area is open with a smooth flow from the now multi-layered interior meaning more space for easy living. Numerous rooms for various R&R activities, also make the place more enticing. Amazingly enough, the church – now- housing property is listed for short-term stays on online accommodation site Wimdu. (Click here to see the offer). And with the church conveniently located in the central city, guests are not far from restaurants, bars and other popular Utrecht city attractions.

Text by Katherine Shanahan

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