LocHal Library / CIVIC architects + Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau + Inside Outside + Mecanoo

LocHal Library / CIVIC architects + Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau + Inside Outside +  Mecanoo - More Images+ 36

  • Client: Kunstloc Brabant
  • Structural / Mechanical / Acoustic / Lighting Consultant: Arup, Amsterdam
  • Glass Hall: Zaanen Spanjers Architecten, Octatube
  • Architects: CIVIC architects, Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau, Inside Outside, Mecanoo
  • Restoration Architect: Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau
  • Textiles: Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside
  • Restoration Architect: Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau
  • City: Tilburg
  • Country: The Netherlands
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© Stijn Bollaert

Text description provided by the architects. The LocHal redefines the library typology. It has already been coined ‘the next big thing in public libraries’ by experts. While keeping traditional ‘book consumer’ facilities, the new library also provides ample opportunity for the creation of new knowledge. The growing importance of ‘Curatorship’ is facilitated by the architecture. The interaction with experts and other visitors offers a deeper, richer way to acquire knowledge and information. That’s why the building acts as a covered public space, housing amenities shared by the library, arts organisations and co-working facilities. In addition to areas for lectures and public events, the building has a number of ‘labs’ where visitors can learn new skills.  

© Stijn Bollaert

The architecture is a reinterpretation of the original building, dating from 1932. The main structure determines the rhythm and language of the new architecture. Perhaps the most conspicuous feature of the building is its sheer size. With a footprint of 90 x 60 metres and a height of 15 metres, it is both imposing and inviting. The entrance hall takes on the form of a covered city square with large reading tables (doubling as podia), an exhibition area and a coffee kiosk. Space folds up into broad steps which can be used by individuals or as event seating for over one thousand spectators. 

© Stijn Bollaert

© Stijn Bollaert

The spaciousness is strengthened by diagonal sightlines across the interior, enabled by smart engineering; the library capitalizes the existing structure, thereby greatly minimizing the amount of new structural elements. An ingenious system of climate zones preserves the openness of the building; heating visitors in key contact zones and not entire spaces. It was this mentality that made it possible to preserve the LocHal building as one large usable volume, rather than inserting closed volumes or replacing it altogether.

© Stijn Bollaert
via Civic Architects
© Stijn Bollaert

From the entrance hall, the landscape of stairs leads visitors up towards the peripheral galleries which allows one to browse books or retreat into one of the quieter reading areas. Higher up, the filtered rooflight and the refined details of the structure creates a more ephemeral atmosphere. A large balcony offers panoramic views over the city. 

© Stijn Bollaert

Six grand textile screens enable flexible separation of areas and improve acoustics. These screens, with a surface area of 4125 m2, can be repositioned in numerous configurations. They can, for example, be moved to separate the co-working area from the higher library floors, or across one of the staircases to create a small, semi-private auditorium; complete with suitable acoustics and lighting. Together with the black steel columns and concrete floors, they enrich the existing spatial system. The materials reveal their characteristic textures when viewed at close hand. During the day, abundant daylight creates intricate shadow patterns. After dark, the building is turned ‘inside out’, with the interior becoming an inviting beacon in the city.

© Stijn Bollaert

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Project location

Address:Burgemeester Brokxlaan 1000, 5041 AA Tilburg, The Netherlands

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "LocHal Library / CIVIC architects + Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau + Inside Outside + Mecanoo" 16 Jan 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/909540/lochal-library-mecanoo-plus-civic-architects-plus-braaksma-and-roos-architectenbureau> ISSN 0719-8884

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