Lochal Is A Gorgeous Library In An Old Train Warehouse

2 minute Read. After spending more than 80 years as a warehouse for locomotive engines, a cavernous industrial building in Tilburg, the Netherlands, began its new life as a local library and events space earlier this year. The colossal 58,000 square-foot space is called the “LocHal,” short for Locomotive Hall. Far from being an exclusive space for the elite or wealthy, the LocHal is open to everyone. To divide up the big open space and improve the building’s acoustics, the Dutch design firm Inside Outside designed large textile screens that are as tall as the LocHal’s nearly 50-foot ceiling. The design is an extraordinary example of adaptive reuse, transforming a decaying industrial building for constructing and storing trains into a place for learning and storing books-while retaining the existing industrial materials, flaws and all. Beyond the architecture and the books, LocHal was designed to act as a resource for learning in general, with a series of dedicated labs aimed at teaching people different skills. The space points to what the 21st-century library should be: a community hub and a center of all kinds of learning.


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