During the World Architecture festival, the LocHal in Tilburg was declared the best building in the world. The building was designed by Civic Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau and Petra Blaisse.
In the past year, the former factory hall (where locomotives were built and repaired until 2010) has been taken into use as a 'workshop of the 21st century'. A place where everything and everyone comes together: learning and studying, doing business and research, meeting and conferencing, creating and innovating, exhibiting and presenting.
The jury praised the radical transformation from industrial to social building, with preservation of its industrial character. In the design, spaces with various functions come together. In the transformation from factory hall to social hub, reuse and repurpose played an important role.
In that regard, it formed the perfect new destination for our Glass Hall. This hall was originally built in 1990 in the Beurs van Berlage for the Dutch Philarmonic Orchestra, a design by architect Pieter Zaanen and structural designer Mick Eekhout, founder of Octatube.
The hall was the first application of structural glass in the Netherlands and was designed so that it could be erected and dismantled without any damage.
The Glass Hall was dismantled in Amsterdam in 2014 when the orchestra left. A call was placed to find a suitable new destination. Eventually, the Municipality of Tilburg bought the Glass Hall for the symbolic amount of 1 euro and added it to the programme of requirements for the architects. The reconstruction in the LocHal in 2018 was taken care of by Octatube Services. A good example of circularity in construction, beautifully integrated into this transformation project in which heritage is carefully repurposed.
Now that the Glass Hall has found a home in the LocHal, it seems as if it has always belonged there. The hall has excellent acoustic qualities and is now rented out by Seats2Meet for various events.
The "World Building of the Year" is a fantastic crowning touch on this extraordinary project, one that we’re proud to be part of as Octatube.
Photography: Stijn Bollaert for Civic Architects & Thea van den Heuvel