Intimately interwoven with the growth of electronics giant Philips
Through the many job opportunities it created, Philips made the small village Eindhoven into the vibrant, bustling city it is today.
But it is precisely the company’s departure after Philips largely pulled out of Eindhoven to Amsterdam and other locations around the world that triggered Eindhoven’s, and especially the former industrial estate Strijp-S’, blossoming.
The history of Eindhoven remains intimately interwoven with electronics giant Philips to this day.
Gerard Philips launched a small factory in 1891 along the Emmasingel, producing light bulbs, a product which he envisioned having a bright future.
Only ten years after its founding, Philips & Co had produced more than 1.5 million light bulbs. To continue producing light bulbs, more space, raw materials and people were required. In order not to be dependent on his suppliers, Philips had the first factory built here in 1916. A glass factory that makes the glass balloons for glass lamps. Further extensions were a carboard factory, a gas factory and a physics laboratory (NatLab) to test and develop innovative technologies.
Philips’ development at Strijp-S really took off in 1928
Philips became entirely self-sufficient with industrial estate Strijp-S. Starting with raw materials, right up to the packaged end product and transportation to the consumer – the company was in control of everything.
The Klokgebouw sees the light
The Klokgebouw (a factory producing phyllite, Philips’ name for bakelite) is completed, followed by an appliance factory on the Hoge Rug.
A machine room and boiler room are added. Strijp-S even gains a new addition. With its characteristic rounded corners, the Veemgebouw is intended as a location to store parts and products.
Radio technologies, televisions and shaving devices, but also the CD and DVD, all originated with Philips. In the field of medical technology, Philips took its first steps in X-ray technology.
Queen Wilhelmina spoke to the population of the Dutch Indies using a wireless radio connection from a laboratory here. Einstein dropped by for a visit. The first electronic music also originated from the NatLab; researcher Dick Raaijmakers took the first steps in developing synthesisers, and was already using them to make music.
Philips saw little value in the project and decided not to support it – a clear-cut commercial blunder, as we know now. Think about that next time you’re dancing to the electronic beats of the STRP Festival.
Philips underwent tremendous growth after every large invention – first with the radio; with television after the war.01
The expansion made the creation of new industrial estates an absolute necessity; Strijp-R and Strijp-T arose on the other side of the Rondweg (the city’s ring road). Strijp-S’ 27 hectares weren’t even close to being enough space for the company’s rapid expansion
With more than 10,000 people working there daily, Philips is at its high point in Strijp during the seventies. In Eindhoven, the area is given the name “Forbidden City”, since it was surrounded by fences and gates. You were only able to get in with a access pass.
Philips underwent tremendous growth after every large invention – first with the radio; with television after the war.
Strijp-S and the post Philips era
2002 – VolkerWessels and the Eindhoven municipality buy Strijp-S from Philips. The surrounding industrial estate is transferred and rented back by Philips. Philips will remain active as the main user of Strijp-S for several years. The purchasing partners launch the public-private partnership Park Strijp Beheer, a collective company with the aim of transforming Strijp-S into the new creative centre of Eindhoven.
Park Strijp Beheer
2002/2005 – The plans for Strijp-S are developed under the supervision of Park Strijp Beheer
Landscape designer and urbanist Adriaan Geuze of the agency West8 is given the assignment of drawing the urban planning design and is appointed supervisor to safeguard the plan’s quality. Focusing on a mixed metropolitan programme with residential, employment and public functions, Eindhoven’s municipal council creates the plan.
Important parts of the old Philips factories are designated municipal (NatLab) and national heritage (Hoge Rug and Klokgebouw) sites. Together with the historic structure and philosophy, these buildings are the common thread of the urban planning design.
From urban planning design
to zoning plan
2005/2006 – The urban planning design is translated into a zoning plan. This framework, established by the municipal council and the province, makes the realisation of the new Strijp-S possible.
It is the foundation of the plan’s continuing development and agreements with development partners, starting the first visible interventions in the area.
With the move of the first Philips parts to other locations, Strijp-S opens towards the city as the fencing is gradually replaced, literally freeing up the first buildings for new use.
The Klokgebouw (under the guidance of Trudo) and the Glasgebouw (supervised by Park Strijp Beheer) set the ball rolling. Woonbedrijf and 3W (later replaced by ING) join in with the development of Strijp-S.
Together, they establish cooperative agreements with VolkerWessels. Broadly speaking, 3W commits to the development alongside the railway track (Spoorzone); Trudo to the heart of Strijp-S, between the Torenallee and Philitelaan (Driehoek, including the Klokgebouw); and Woonbedrijf to the task of residential construction between the Torenallee and Kastanjelaan (Kastanjevelden). Remains affiliated as the developer and builder of developments in all these areas.
This new development consortium invests in the development of the area, resulting in the Dutch Design Week selecting Strijp-S as its new home (one of the momentous events that puts Strijp-S on the map as a new creative centre).
The development of Strijp-S
The Flying Dutch festival
2008/2012 – The development of Strijp-S would take place in 4 phases, with approximately one quarter of the site successively being transformed at the time.
The Philips departure scenario is leading in this. As a result, Strijp-S is developing towards the center of Eindhoven instead of the other way around. Following the Woonbedrijf initiative, Trudo is continuing the transformation of the former Philips factories, Gerard, Anton and Klokgebouw.
VolkerWessels and the Municipality of Eindhoven are investing in the construction of the HOV track on Strijp-S, Philitelaan, Glaslaan, Kastanjelaan, Torenallee and an area-wide WKO system (Sanergy) through Park Strijp Beheer. As a result, Strijp-S literally opens itself to the city, resulting in a sharp increase in the interest of countless entrepreneurs, quartermasters, catering establishments and events to make Strijp-S their new home.
in times of crisis
2012/2013 – Due to the crisis, many area developments in the Netherlands come to a halt, but Strijp-S knows how to attract more parties. As a result, the former Philips factories are packed with fresh creative entrepreneurship.
Where this started in 2000 in an anti-squat way, Strijp-S is now continuing with a strong thematic approach with an eye for different communities. To allow the plan development to proceed, the development partners commit themselves to a package of measures. As a result, the demolition of many Philips factories is postponed and later even completely adjusted.
2013/2015 – Towards the tail end of the crisis, VolkerWessels realises the first 450 new owner-occupied and rental apartments with Blocks 59, 61 and 63. Mobility-S realises an above-ground parking facility between the residential buildings and the train track to offer the new residents of Strijp-S ample parking options.
Right before these construction activities start, Strijp-S hosts the prestigious “The Flying Dutch” festival. Thousands of people make optimal use of the space that has become available here following the departure of Philips. Strijp-S rapidly becomes a living lab. Its Philips past is the foundation of a progressive vision wherein the new public spaces and buildings are prepared for the future.
2016/present – New constructions conform to the monuments in the area. Trudo’s Haasje Over project symbolises this development like no other. The old Philips hall, having functioned as the home of Area 51 for years, is not demolished, but fitted into the new plans.
Trudo’s new residences are literally built on top of Area 51. Strijp-S is ready for the next phase. New construction plans are added to Strijp-S by all development partners, resulting in a wave of new construction, featuring 2,000 residences and 25,000 m2 of new spaces for creative entrepreneurship.