Visitors to Tilburg’s newly modernized station district will notice an exciting addition to the city: the new public library which was officially opened in January 2019. A former locomotive shed – the ‘LocHal’ – has undergone an intensive redesign to become the beating heart of the district. It has been transformed into a public meeting place with a distinct railway theme. Its rugged steel structure provides the perfect backdrop for all manner of events and exhibitions. Much of the elegant industrial building has been conserved. With the addition of robust new architecture and huge textile screens, it has been transformed to showcase the new concept of Midden Brabant Libraries. It is a place in which knowledge is not only ‘consumed’ but produced by partners such as the arts organization Kunstloc, Brabant C and the co-working facilities of Seats2Meet.
The building’s design is the result of close collaboration between Civic Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau and Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse. The interior design of the library, the various ‘laboratories’, the café and offices are by Mecanoo, while the engineering consultancy Arup advised on aspects such as sustainability, re-use and acoustic design.
Photos: Ossip Architectuurfotografie, Stijn Bollaert