What happens to churches whose religious residents have left? Often, they become a bit more secular. Here are some of the most gorgeous and surprising architectural afterlives for these houses of worship.
St. Jakobus Church, by Zecc Architects, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2007-2009
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(via ZECC ) A Selexyz bookstore from a 700-year-old Dominican Church, by Merkx + Girod Architects, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2007 (via Merkx + Girod and OpenBuildings ) Bonney Avenue Residence from an 1867 building, by Willis Greenhalgh Architects, Brisbane, Australia (via WGArchitects ) A Gothic church built in 1909, overlooking Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco, California (via Decoist ) Conversion of the late 18th century St. Nicholas Georgian Church, by Kyloe, Northumberland, England (via Inhabitat and homedit ) Church of Living, Utrecht, Netherlands, by Zecc Architecten, 2006-2007 (via ZECC ) A former chapel with art-deco interior decoration, but with the original stained glass, Suffolk, UK (via LocationWorks ) The modern St. Sebastian Church, built in 1962 became a kindergarten in 2009, by Bolles-Wilson, Münster, Germany (via Bolles-Wilson ) The Church Brew Works, in a catholic church built in 1878, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (via Church Brew Works Facebook and Converted Churches ) O'Neill's Muswell Hill, London, UK (via Evan Munro , O'Neills Muswell Hill Facebook and Excel English ) The Church Bar & Restaurant, Dublin, Ireland (via The Church Facebook and The Church ) Two loft-type houses from a 19th century chapel in Bazel, East Flanders, Belgium (via OWI ) John Knox Church, by William Boag Architects Pty Ltd, Brighton, Australia, 2009 (via Archdaily, photos by Sonia Mangiapane ) The Abbey Church Lofts with a four-level penthouse in the bell tower, converted from the Howard Park Methodist Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2008 (via Loftenberg ) Victoria Lofts, converted from the turn-of-the-century West Toronto Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (via Monica Macmillan ) The St. Saviours, now a luxurious home with gold leaf hot tub, platinum leaf ceiling and a cinema room, Knightsbridge, London, 2004 (via Wigan Property and Lewis Granaiola ) The Victorian Westbourne Grove Church, built in 1953 London (via abduzeedo ) A 19th century chapel with the original pipe organ a pulpit, Bedfordshire, UK (via Locationworks )