We like to say that Eindhoven isn’t the prettiest girl in class, but definitely the most interesting one. That certainly applies to our architecture. We aren’t known for our beautiful canal-side houses, historic villas and stately mansions (although we have those too!), but all the more for the eclectic mix of post-war architecture. Here, you’ll find both innovative new skyscrapers and cleverly renovated factory buildings from the Philips haydays. And of course, icons like the Evoluon, a spectacular UFO-shaped building that has graced our city since 1966. Are you an architecture enthusiast and want to know which buildings you shouldn’t miss? Check out this list!
Vestedatoren or ‘t Wybertje
Architect: Jo Coenen
Location: the intersection of Vestdijk and Smalle Haven
Completed in: 2006
Have you ever been to New York? Maybe you know the famous Flatiron Building. That building stands like a giant slice of pie on one of the most important intersections in Manhattan. The Vestedatoren (Vesteda tower) looks a bit like its New York sister with its slender silhouette and rounded front. But where the Flatiron Building is a triangle, the Vestedatoren is shaped like a diamond. Some people affectionately call it ‘Wybertje’, after a famous brand of traditional diamond-shaped Dutch throat lozenges.
On the 28 floors of this tower, you will find apartments that you can rent for about 4k per month or buy for about 800k. Pricey, but it must be worth it to live in one of the coolest towers in Eindhoven.
Luckily for you, you can look at the Vestadatoren for free. This building is a photographer’s dream. Our tip? Snap a picture with the hanging gardens of Medina in the foreground. That’s the apartment building next door, located on the street called Het College. Beautiful photos guaranteed! Fun fact: the year after its completion, the Vestedatoren received the BNA Architecture Award for the best building of the year. Well deserved!
Architect: Massimiliano Fuksas
Location: 18 Septemberplein
Completed in: 2010
In an attempt to lure shoppers to the new Emmasingel district, the Eindhoven city council wanted to put a ‘seductive building’ next to De Admirant. But it had to be a structure that wouldn’t disturb the view across the square. Before, you could see all the way from the station to the Lichttoren. So they asked for a modest and transparent yet sexy building. Not a difficult brief at all. Surprisingly, everything didn’t quite work as planned because the Blob is a true attention seeker. This unusual building is a creation of the Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. Despite its futuristic appearance, he designed the first version of the building with a hunk of clay that he dented with his fists. To each their process, right?
The Blob is not just fun on the outside. Inside, you can shop for clothes, home accessories, and kitchen gadgets at Sissy Boy. In need of a little break? Then settle down in brasserie Sissy Boy Daily on the second floor and treat yourself to some delicious sandwiches, salads, and shakes.
To finish the remake of the 18 Septemberplein, Massimiliano also designed the new bicycle parking beneath the square. The two distinctive entrances to the Tube, as the parking is called, are a bit reminiscent of paper cones for fries but fit perfectly with the Blob.
Since 2013, the Blob has had a little sister on the other side of the 18 Septemberplein: the Bubble, the flagship store of America Today. Although this ball of steel and glass is very similar to the Blob, it is by a different architect: Tarra Architectuur en Stedenbouw. Some people find both buildings an eyesore, but they definitely deserve a place in this list of architectural icons.
Bosco Verticale or the Trudo Toren
Architect: Stefano Boero Architetti
Location: Ketelhuisplein, Strijp-S
Completed in: 2021
You can forget the name Bosco Verticale (full name: Bosco Verticale Trudo Vertical Forest). Nobody uses it. Here, this green giant is simply called the Trudo Toren, or Trudo Tower, named after the housing corporation that built it. The Trudo Toren is one of the most talked-about apartment buildings built in the Netherlands in recent years. It has 18 floors with 125 social housing units. Residents share their tower with a total of 125 trees and 5,200 bushes and plants. All this greenery absorbs 50,000 kilos of CO2 and provides 13,750 kilos of oxygen annually. A sustainable feat!
The Trudo Toren is not very original. It’s almost an exact replica of the Bosco Verticale in Milan, also designed by Stefano. But hey, never change a winning format. In a way, it’s a blessing: we bring exceptional architecture to Eindhoven, so you don’t have to travel to see amazing buildings!
In the base of the Trudo Toren, you will find the concept store WEAR by HappyGreen and The Scenery Shop. And lucky for you, we recently did a web story about them, check it out!
Location: Ketelhuisplein, Strijp-S
Completed in: 2021
On the other side of Ketelhuisplein, housing corporation Trudo has built another eye-catcher: Haasje Over, Dutch for leapfrog. It’s the working title they never got rid of. But it makes sense because the orange part of the building is about to jump over the Area 51 skate park, like in the old schoolyard game. That ‘move’ is also what makes Haasje Over so special. Building more houses is essential for the city, but so are venues like Area 51. So, Trudo decided to be creative with the space and designed a structure that hovers over the skate park. Area 51 also received a major makeover, so the two buildings can continue to play together on the square for decades to come.
One year after its completion, Haasje Over added a cool gadget to its roof: a PowerNEST. This is a revolutionary way to generate sustainable electricity. The unit consists of four wind turbines and 296 solar panels that generate over 140-megawatt hours per year.
At the base of this fun building, you will find Tea Stories. The perfect place for a light lunch, exotic tea, or both. Indulge yourself!
Architect: Diederendirrix and architecten|en|en
Location: Kanaalstraat, downtown
Completed in: 2019
DOMUSDELA translates to ‘the house of DELA’, a funeral company. Doesn’t sound very appealing, but we promise it’s a very lively place. DOMUSDELA is a fusion between the monastery complex Mariënhage, one of the oldest places in the city, and a bright and white extension.
It wasn’t a simple task to honor a national monument but also ensure the building fits into a modern city center. We are, of course, a little biased, but we think it turned out wonderfully. The contrast between the old monastery buildings and the modern white extension just works. So we weren’t surprised when DOMUSDELA also won prizes from BNA: in 2020, the complex won the award for best building.
Since its refurbishment, it has become a beautiful location for ceremonies, meetings, and events. You can enjoy a delicious meal at Brasserie Rita or a chic overnight stay at boutique hotel Mariënhage.
Architect: Louis Kalff and Leo de Bever
Location: Noord Brabantlaan
Completed in: 1966
Nowadays, we are no longer blown away by buildings like the Evoluon. But just imagine how people reacted to this gigantic UFO in the mid-1960s. The Evoluon was a gift from Philips in celebration of their 75th anniversary. Makes sense; Turning 75 is a great occasion to make a mark in the city where you grew up. It wasn’t entirely altruistic because the Evoluon served as an interactive technology museum, where hordes of schoolchildren from all over the country could learn all about technology, and Philips in particular.
The building consists of a large sphere with a diameter of no less than 77 meters. That is as long as the Student Hotel next to the station is tall. The colossal dish rests on 12 V-shaped columns, each 8 meters high. The dish itself consists of 822 hexagonal concrete elements. Each element weighs 1,200 kilograms, making the entire unit weigh a whopping 15,000 tons. Which probably equals at least a couple of Student Hotels.
In 1989, the technology museum closed and became a convention center. And it took a while, but in 2018, our beloved standing saucer finally became a national monument. And as often in life, things eventually go full circle: The Evoluon is going to be an interactive exposition space yet again. Next Nature Network will create unique VR experiences there in the coming years. Stay tuned!
Eindhoven Central Station
Architect: Koen van der Gaast
We end where many people start their journey in Eindhoven: the central train station. Koen van der Gaast, one of the nation’s most renowned train station architects, designed this remarkable building. In addition to Eindhoven Central Station, he also created Tilburg Central Station, the old train stations of The Hague and Schiphol Airport, and a wide array of stations in places you’ll probably never visit.
Well, back to Eindhoven Central Station. This is a building that is best viewed from a distance. It not only becomes more beautiful, but you can also see that it looks a bit like a Philips tube radio. Like the Philitina B0X15U, to be precise. Chances are that an Eindhoven native will try to convince you that this is no coincidence, but this type of radio wasn’t invented until the early 1960s. Koen van der Gaast was definitely a man with foresight, but above all, he was a down-to-earth guy who would never stoop to that kind of sentimental design.
Between 2013 and 2018, the station was thoroughly renovated. The outside remained the same, but the inside had an amazing make-over. In the coming years, the station area is one of the main building hotspots of the city, so there will be plenty of new architectural highlights in the making!