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Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Facade systemsJansen
FurnitureBilliani srl
Glass loungeOctatube
Assistance confection canvas partsGerriets GmbH

Product Spec Sheet
Facade systems
Glass lounge
Assistance confection canvas parts
by Gispen

Lochal Public Library Tilburg

CIVIC Architects as Architects

In the Tilburg railway zone, the construction of the LocHal took off this week. Within the contours of the monumental locomotive hall, CIVIC architects in collaboration with Braaksma & Roos Architecten and Inside Outside, designed a large public building. The project houses a public library, workspaces, conference rooms, exposition spaces, an art school, a glass music hall and an elevated foyer overlooking the city. The building adds a contemporary layer to the ancient typology of the library. It functions as a public space where visitors can read and lend books and other media but at the same time are stimulated to collectively share and develop new knowledge.


The spatial design emphasises the concept. Large open spaces, stairs en open floors add to the value of the monumental hall and the idea of an ‘open’ library. The generous entrance in the new south facade connects the building with the most important routes in the railway zone. The visitor enters the LocHal at the large open public hall where all the functions in the building intersect. The stairs and terraces in this hall offer spaces to read and work and can also be used as exposition or performance space and debating area. With every step upwards the program and use of the space turns calmer and lighter. The public hall is flanked by two rows of impressive columns that guide the visitor through the building.

Six mobile and full height textiles offer the possibility to isolate workspaces or to temporarily transform the landscape of stairs into a theatre- or lecture hall. Spread through the building are so-called ‘’Stijlkamers”: public workspaces with a specific theme and atmosphere. The library collection is organized around these chambers. The landscape of stairs connects with the co-working centre of Seats2Meet, which is itself surrounded by meeting halls. On the top floors, the individual workspaces of the library are situated next to a 60-meter-wide winter garden (the City Balcony) that offers a view over the city.


The architectural language of the LocHal is robust, sturdy and timeless. The repetitive structure, structural clarity and robust detailing strengthen the existing architectural qualities of the industrial monument. Four materials are applied: concrete, steel, wood and glass. A new floor is casted onto the existing concrete floor and the current lubrication pits are covered with a crosscut wooden floor. The ascending concrete landscape of stairs is partially finished with wood. Steel concrete floors are visibly suspended from the old crane construction. Staircases and closed volumes are made of either structural or blue steel cladding. Higher in the building, the elements turn more refined. Light enters from everywhere. The large textiles provide the LocHal with the necessary softness and warmth. The fabrics also have an acoustic function: they make it possible to isolate a concentration space in the middle of the busy urban hall.

The design of the new architecture relates to the existing structure in size and material: smooth blue steel planes versus the existing patina of the compiled columns and crane tracks, moving textiles follow the crane rails and the wooden stairs refer to the industrial crosscut wood. The city balcony is suspended above the entrance. On this new structure, the glass façade and roof have been designed as a contemporary interpretation of the existing hall. The steel curtain wall on the ground floor is in size fully tailored to the existing railways running through the building. This curtainwall can be partially opened at specific points so railway wagons equipped with green gardens can still be driven in- and outside.


The building is open to the public 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. The opening hours and accessibility of the different functions differ. For every situation, the right accessibility can be organised. With this flexibility, a public activity in the public hall combined with use of the kitchen can be organised with the rest of the building closed off. The building is climatized locally and adaptively conditioned for mixed use. The open city hall has an intermediate climate that renders it suitable as an indoor forum, seats on the landscape of stairs are heated and cooled and the offices have their own sublimate. This creates a flexible and comfortable interior climate while preserving the monumental shell.

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LocHal Library Interior Design by Mecanoo

Mecanoo as Interior Design

The LocHal is a new, world-class urban living room for Tilburg in an iconic former locomotive shed of the Dutch National Railways. It is located next to the station, in the heart of Tilburg’s new City Campus, and houses the Midden-Brabant Library, the cultural institutions Kunstloc and Brabant C and the co-working spaces of Seats2meet. The LocHal is a space for both young and old to read, learn, study, meet and gather. It is a place for testing, creating, exhibiting and presenting the latest innovations.


Mecanoo’s playful and innovative interior design forms striking contrasts by combining characteristic historical elements with new oak and steel additions. A colour palette of reds and oranges contributes to a warm atmosphere. There is a diversity of settings for meeting, collaboration, and concentrated work.


The eye-catcher is the city café featuring a bar with red, brown and gold ceramic tiles, crowned with a neon LocHal logo. Old tracks remain visible in the concrete floor, and are used to move three large wheeled “train” tables. A single table can become the extension of the bar or, when combined with another table, forms a stage with the stairs as a tribune. They can also be moved outside to form a stage for outdoor events. Full-height textile walls, designed by Inside Outside and the Textile Museum, soften the industrial hall.


They conveniently divide the space into larger or smaller activity areas. Crossing the building is an interior street lined with historic industrial columns on which the old layers of paint are still visible. By fitting the columns with wooden tables and lighting, they are given a new lease of life as places for reading and studying. The street is flanked by bookcases and more inviting bookshop-style display units.


The nearby fairytale theme park Efteling is the source of inspiration for the children's library. Bookcases take on the form of coloured pencils or rulers. Children can walk through giant fairytale books, read at tables shaped like mobile phones or listen to storytelling sessions while lying on an open book. Even the sitting poufs have playful letters in the form of fairytale animals.


The stair landscape that Civic Architects designed for the monumental LocHal takes you to the upper floors. With the flexible oak seating elements, everyone can ‘build’ their own meeting place or quiet working niche. The LocHal is not only a library but also a laboratory where visitors are challenged, gain new knowledge and learn about new innovations. Specially designed labs can be found throughout the building: the Digilab, GameLab, FutureLab, FoodLab, KennisMakerij (LearningLab), TijdLab (TimeLab), Stemmingmakerij (DialogueLab), WoordLab (WordLab) and workshop rooms.


Design Team: CIVIC Architects, architectural design; Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, restoration; Mecanoo architecten, interior design; Inside Outside in collaboration with the TextielMuseum, interior concept and textiles.


Programme: Mecanoo was responsible for the interior design of the Bibliotheek Midden-Brabant, Kunstloc Brabant and Brabant C in a former locomotive hall of the Dutch National Railways. The interior design comprises 7,000 m2 including 1,300 m2 of offices.

Engines for urban transformation

Jansen as Facade systems

Civic Architects have transformed a railway depot from the 1930s into a ‘hybrid library’, saving a piece of local industrial history from oblivion in the process. Inside, the multi-use industrial building in the centre of Tilburg, known as the ‘LocHal’, is being refurbished, while, outside, the VISS steel profile system is being used to implement large glazed façades on the south and west side.

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Project Credits
Facade systems
Interior Design
Technical advisors
Interior & textiles
Building physics, acoustics, fire
Products used in this project
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