Architecture

Holland's railway-themed library houses book-lined ceilings and moving train tables

Holland's railway-themed libra...
Moving train tables inside the LocHal Library
Moving train tables inside the LocHal Library
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A central cafe decorated in eye-catching red, brown and gold ceramic tiles inside the LocHal Library
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A central cafe decorated in eye-catching red, brown and gold ceramic tiles inside the LocHal Library
The recently completed LocHal Library replete with co-working spaces, books and a cafe
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The recently completed LocHal Library replete with co-working spaces, books and a cafe
Tiered seating inside the LocHal Library
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Tiered seating inside the LocHal Library
Moving train tables inside the LocHal Library
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Moving train tables inside the LocHal Library
An uneven platform at the base of tiered seating inside the LocHal Library is built with stacks of old books
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An uneven platform at the base of tiered seating inside the LocHal Library is built with stacks of old books
Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo has added the finishing touches to an impressive interior space inside an old railway station, rebirthing it as an “urban living room” called the LocHal Library
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Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo has added the finishing touches to an impressive interior space inside an old railway station, rebirthing it as an “urban living room” called the LocHal Library
Meeting room inside the LocHal library
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Meeting room inside the LocHal library
Constructed in 1932 in Tilburg, Holland, the building housing the LocHal Library originally belonged to Dutch Railways
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Constructed in 1932 in Tilburg, Holland, the building housing the LocHal Library originally belonged to Dutch Railways
The recently completed LocHal Library replete with co-working spaces, books and a cafe
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The recently completed LocHal Library replete with co-working spaces, books and a cafe
Tiered seating overlooking a presentation area inside the recently completed LocHal Library
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Tiered seating overlooking a presentation area inside the recently completed LocHal Library
A central cafe decorated in eye-catching red, brown and gold ceramic tiles inside the LocHal Library
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A central cafe decorated in eye-catching red, brown and gold ceramic tiles inside the LocHal Library
The exposed industrial columns with speckles of old paint are a further homage to the history of the LocHal Library's site
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The exposed industrial columns with speckles of old paint are a further homage to the history of the LocHal Library's site
The "interior street" inside the LocHal Library
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The "interior street" inside the LocHal Library
The LocHal public library is the result of a close collaboration between Civic Architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau (restoration), the Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse agency (interior concept) and Mecanoo (interior design)
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The LocHal public library is the result of a close collaboration between Civic Architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau (restoration), the Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse agency (interior concept) and Mecanoo (interior design)
Writer's room inside the LocHal Library
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Writer's room inside the LocHal Library
The children's library inside the LocHal Library
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The children's library inside the LocHal Library
The children's library inside the LocHal Library
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The children's library inside the LocHal Library
The children's library inside the LocHal Library
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The children's library inside the LocHal Library
The LocHal Library is home to several secluded working spaces
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The LocHal Library is home to several secluded working spaces

The finishing touches have been added to an impressive interior space inside an old railway station in Tilburg, rebirthing it as an "urban living room" known as the LocHal Library. In reality, its a co-working space, library and cultural center rolled into one, styled to make its visitors feel at home through an open and playful layout that honors the history of the site.

The new public library was officially opened earlier this month, after being transformed from a locomotive shed into a railway-themed public meeting space by Civic Architects (lead architect) and Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau (restoration). Engineering firm Arup offered expert advice on sustainability aspects, re-use and acoustic design, the Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse agency visualized the interior concept, while Mecanoo took care of the interior design of the library, the laboratories, the cafe and offices.

Constructed in 1932 in Tilburg, Holland, the building originally belonged to Dutch Railways and remnants of this can be seen after the renovation with old train tracks remaining in place on the concrete floor. Three large tables built on old train chassis can be wheeled up and down these tracks to combine and form larger tables or butt up against the bar of the cafe. They can also be pushed outside to serve as stages for outdoor events.

An uneven platform at the base of tiered seating inside the LocHal Library is built with stacks of old books
An uneven platform at the base of tiered seating inside the LocHal Library is built with stacks of old books

The exposed industrial columns with speckles of old paint are a further homage to the building's history and line an interior street with stacked bookcases on either side. This thoroughfare is also filled with wooden tables and lighting to make space for studying and reading, and includes terminals to check books in and out of the library.

The book theme continues in the children's library, which is inspired by a nearby fairytale theme park and features book shelves built into huge colored pencils and rulers. An uneven platform at the base of tiered seating nearby, meanwhile, is built out of stacks of old books topped in new oak counters for lectures and presentations.

Writer's room inside the LocHal Library
Writer's room inside the LocHal Library

Also found throughout the LocHal Library is a cosy writing room with both walls and a ceiling lined with books to create a sensation of literary immersion; a central cafe decorated in eye-catching red, brown and gold ceramic tiles; and meeting rooms and secluded working spaces with textile walls acting as soft dividing walls. The library is also a permanent home to the Kunstloc Brabant culture and arts center and Seats2Meet co-working spaces.

You can have a look around and hear from some of the folks involved in the video below.

Sources: Mecanoo, Civic Architects

LocHal Library

1 comment
CAVUMark
Will it be a quiet library?