From Dominican Monastery to Library
Foto: Luuk Kramer
The Baroque Predikherenklooster monastery in Mechelen dates back to 1650, but from 1975 onwards stood empty. In 2010, the city of Mechelen decided to restore the building and use it as a public library. The construction project, in 2020 awarded the Flemish government’s Onroerenderfgoedprijs (Prize for Immovable Heritage), was implemented by the Dutch company Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten together with Callebaut Architecten and Bureau Bouwtechniek from Belgium.
The planners left alterations, additions and traces of deterioration visible inside and outside, while the floors were restored with black marble. Ligno Akustik light acoustic panels in brushed oak with fine, uniform strip profiling were used for the fittings such as encircling benches and shelves as well as the wall claddings. The attic floor is designed as a two-storey “bookshelf” with a gallery and reading areas. In the open roof space, acoustic elements made of real wood on the gable ends as well as on the gallery balustrade with the rear-fitted acoustic absorbers and fine uniform profiling ensure adequate quiet in the large space and visual relaxation.
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