LocHal Library

  • area / size 75,347 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Amsterdam, Netherlands,
  • Mecanoo designed an extensive and dynamic space at LocHal Library for guests of all ages in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    The LocHal, an old locomotive hall dating from 1932, is located next to the station of Tilburg and houses the Bibliotheek Midden-Brabant, Kunstloc Brabant, Brabant C and Seats2Meet*. Everyone is welcome in the new living room of Tilburg, a world-class space for both young and old to read, learn and study, meet and gather. It is a place for testing, creating, exhibiting and presenting the latest innovations.

    Tilburg is not only known for its worksites of the Dutch National Railways, but also for its textile industry and the Efteling, the nearby popular fairytale theme park. This history is made tangible in Mecanoo’s interior design. Characteristic historical elements form an exciting combination with new oak and steel additions, and a warm colour palette of reds and oranges. The interior is varied, playful and innovative. There is a diversity of atmospheres for meeting, collaboration, and concentrated work.

    City café with reading and exhibition space
    The eye-catcher is the city café featuring a bar with red, brown and gold ceramic tiles and a neon LocHal logo on top. It can easily be spotted from passing trains. The old tracks are visible in the concrete floor. They are used to move three large wheeled “train” tables. For example, a single table can become the extension of the bar; when placed together, the tables form a stage or catwalk with the stairs as a tribune. They can even be moved outside along the tracks to form a stage for events on the square. Next to this city café is the reading room with magazines, and next to that is the Kunstloc exhibition space. It is right in the corner, clearly visible from the outside. The textile walls designed by Inside Outside, inspired by Tilburg as a textile city, create intimate spaces in this large hall. When these hanging textiles are drawn together, the space can accommodate large-scale events.

    Interior street
    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. There are also low mobile display units where books are presented invitingly, as in a bookshop. In this book street, books are also checked in and out. The bookcase wall on the office side has transparent display cases for works of art and unique books. This wall also gives staff the right balance between privacy and connection with the library.

    Children’s library with Efteling atmosphere
    The Efteling theme park is the source of inspiration for the children’s library. Bookcases take on the form of colored pencils or rulers. You can walk through the giant fairytale books, look for a book or play. The little ones can read a book 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.

    Architect: Mecanoo
    : Ossip Architectuur Fotografie