by Mala Raman
07 Mar 2020. Right behind the Tilburg Central Station in the Spoorzone, is an old industrial locomotive hall that has been transformed into a cutting edge library, The LocHal. The repair center from the 1930s has been converted into a modernist design filled with glass, stunning wooden staircases and light-filled, open-plan spaces all housed within the steel beams of the original locomotive center.
Our group of tíc members met here to explore this innovative building. The World Architecture Festival named the LocHal “2019 World Building of the Year”.
The LocHal is the central Brabant library which also shares space with two art institutions, Kunstloc Brabant and Brabant C.
The LocHal not only houses books, of course, (did you know that all children in Tilburg can get a free library membership —no Dutch citizenship required) but also, learning labs including the DigiLab, FoodLab, FutureLab, GameLab, and several others.
A large glass square “box” dominates the middle of the monstrous LocHal structure. The city of Tilburg rescued it from the ‘Beurs van Berlage’ that was scheduled to be demolished. The city bought it for the symbolic amount of one euro, and transported it back to Tilburg. It was used to create a stunning glass auditorium with near-perfect acoustics and space for 200 people.
The LocHal also has plenty of meeting spaces. There is the Kennismakerij that showcases a set of beautiful wood staircases. The Stemmingmakerij also boasts a soundproof meeting room with a pleasant decor. Seats2Meet will gladly help you with that and can even arrange access to the glass dome.
There is a large, modestly stocked bar area that is shrouded by giant automatic curtains which, at the touch of a button, creates a mobile room. These curtains, produced by the TextielMuseum in Tilburg (just around the corner) in their TextielLab, are 15 meters high and 47 meters wide.
Currently, the LocHal has a WWII “Stilleven” expo. This exposition features key
scenes from 75 personal war stories from Brabant, presented in miniature form. The expo can is located on the enclosed balcony facing the city.
The LocHal is also boasts a “green environment. Just take your time and explore, you’ll discover tons of mesmerizing vantage points.
#tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #LocHal #expo #WorldBuildingoftheYear