The LocHal brings together learning and studying, business and research, meeting, creating and innovating, exhibiting and presenting in an iconic former locomotive shed in the heart of Tilburg’s new City Campus.
The 1932 building, originally belonging to the Dutch Railways, now contains the Midden-Brabant Library, Kunstloc Brabant, and Seats2meet. The conversion of the monumental building is a collaborative achievement: CIVIC architects, Braaksma & Roos and Inside Outside carried out the architectural design, the renovation and the textiles and Mecanoo was responsible for the 7000 m2 interior design including 1,300 m2 of offices.
Mecanoo’s design gives the interior a unique industrial character by combining new features and old industrial elements. The eye-catcher is the city café featuring a bar with red, brown and gold ceramic tiles and a neon LocHal logo on top. Large oak tables move along the original railway tracks and can be combined to function as a stage, with the grand staircases as an auditorium. These stairs have flexible oak seating elements with which people can ‘build’ their own meeting place or quiet working niche. LocHal has several themed rooms for specialized work, research, learning and collaboration, each with its own design and atmosphere. The children’s library is inspired by the immersive fairy tale environments of the nearby Efteling theme park with playful furniture which encourages children to read, imagine and dream.
The ambition of the municipality to give the Lochal back to the people has been achieved: it has truly become Tilburg’s “new livingroom”.
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