From Locomotive Workshop to Library

© Sti­jn Bollaert

In 2009, the munic­i­pal­i­ty of Tilburg, togeth­er with two large real estate and con­struc­tion groups, acquired a mas­sive plot direct­ly behind the main rail­way sta­tion. The orig­i­nal plan was to demol­ish exist­ing build­ings, such as the for­mer loco­mo­tive hall, or LocHal for short, and to con­struct huge office and apart­ment com­plex­es. How­ev­er, the deci­sion was reversed. Instead of demo­li­tion, rede­vel­op­ment and con­ver­sions took root. And so, in 2019, the munic­i­pal library—which is much more than just a col­lec­tion of books—opened here. Its glass hall pro­tects an inner-city square with a café and open stair­case. There are also archives, offices, as well as event rooms and, on the perime­ters, work­shop areas and small meet­ing rooms. The many peo­ple who use the build­ing for a wide range of activ­i­ties make it clear that pub­lic space will con­tin­ue to play an essen­tial role in the future.




CIVIC Archi­tects, Braaks­ma & Roos archi­tecten­bu­reau, Inside Out­side / Petra Blaisse, Mecanoo, archi­tects; Gemeente Tilburg, De Bib­lio­theek Mid­den-Bra­bant, Kun­st­loc Bra­bant, commission


Since 2019


Tilburg Nether­lands

The for­mer work­shop where loco­mo­tives were assem­bled and main­tained. Archive image © Civic Architects
© Sti­jn Bollaert
© Sti­jn Bollaert
Aer­i­al pic­ture of the rail­road area in the Dutch city of Tilburg. © Karel Tomei