Lochal is a new public library and city forum in Tilburg, Netherlands. The building offers space for the public library, co-work spaces, conference rooms, spaces for arts education and a large city hall for public events, exhibitions and debates. Lochal is located in a former locomotive shed in the railway zone next to Central Station; an area that is being transformed step by step into a new heart of the city.
The building houses a new kind of hybrid library: Visitors can not only view and borrow books, other media and changing collections, the building also stimulates the joint production of new information. This will happen in so-called ‘lab rooms’, theme rooms that make new connections with the permanent collection throughout the building.
Large open spaces and floor areas tie in with the heritage value of the monumental hall and with the idea of an ‘open’ library. Six mobile and room-high canvases make it possible to isolate large and small workspaces or to transform the staircase parts into theater or lecture space.
The open library section can be divided into different zones. Upon entering the visitor enters a large central hall where he will get a unique impression of the former lochal. This courtyard is followed by a series of stairs and terraces that offer space for reading, working, discussing and performing. Through these terraces there is access to the co-working floor that is surrounded by meeting rooms. On the last floor, wide corridors offer space for more intimate workplaces. These corridors open onto a public winter garden with a view of the city.