Project name: LocHal Library | Location: Tilburg, the Netherlands | Completed: 2018 | Architects: CIVIC Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau | Interior design: Inside Outside, TextileMuseum, Mecanoo Architecten
LocHal Library is situated next to the train station of Tilburg in the Netherlands. The vast space dates back to 1932 when it was used as a locomotive hall. Since 2018, the building has housed the Bibliotheek Midden-Brabant (a public library), Kunstloc Brabant (a regional knowledge centre for culture and art), Brabant C (a regional investment fund for culture and the creative industry) and Seats2Meet (a co-working space).
The striking interior design of the warehouse takes cues from the historical context of Tilburg as a city. Tilburg is most well known for its worksites of the Dutch National Railways as well as its textile industry – two aspects that feature heavily in the design of LocHal. Inside Outside, TextileMuseum and Mecanoo Architecten have made the city’s history tangible through intelligent interior design.
In the main hall, the old railway tracks have been preserved and are still visible in the concrete floor. Three large-wheeled ‘train’ tables can be wheeled along these tracks, forming an extension to the cafe’s bar or they can be placed together to create a stage within or outside the main building. Inside Outside designed several hanging textile walls which can be moved along rollers to create smaller, more intimate spaces within the huge hall.
These are just two examples of customisable features in LocHal Library, smaller aspects like fluid seating arrangements mean that the space can be designed by each of its users to create the best personal environment possible.
Combining expert preservation of chosen historical aspects with a user-orientated approach to the design has resulted in a project that celebrates its location and truly benefits the community around it. LocHal Library is a creative hub for the city and a pleasure for all to visit and use.