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The history of Strijp-S is closely intertwined with the growth of electronics giant Philips.

History

 

Without Philips, Eindhoven would probably still be a collection of a couple of tiny villages. Because of the great employment that the company created, Philips turned the small village of Eindhoven into a city. But precisely when Philips left for Amsterdam and many other places around the world, the multinational made it possible for former industrial area Strijp-S to flourish again.

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Anton Philips started producing light bulbs in 1892 in a tiny factory on the Emmasingel in Eindhoven.

Bulbs

 

10 years after the start, Philips & Co. produced about 1.5 million bulbs. To ensure the continuity of the factory, more and more space, resources and people were needed. In order not to be dependent on suppliers, Anton had the first factory built at Strijp-S in 1916, which provided Philips with glass. A cardboard factory followed, a gasworks factory and a physics laboratory (NatLab), for the research of new technologies.

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From 1928, Philips developed the Strijp-S rapidly.

Selfsufficient

 

The Klokgebouw (a Philite factory, the Philips name for Bakelite) raised from the dust, followed by device factories on the Hoge Rug. An engine room and a boiler house were built. Even during the Second World War a new building was constructed: the Veemgebouw with its typical rounded corners, intended for the storage of electronic parts. With the industrial area Strijp-S, Philips became completely self-sufficient. From raw materials to finished products in a cardboard box, transport to the consumer included: the company had everything in its own hand. No wonder some people joked that their slogan was ‘From sand to customer's hand'.

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At the physics laboratory called NatLab, numerous technologies were invented that have had great significance for people throughout the world.

Innovation

 

Radio technologies, televisions and shavers, even the CD and DVD were cooked in Philips's kitchen. In the medical field, Philips made the first steps in X-ray technology. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands spoke - from the laboratory - to the people of the Dutch East Indies, using a wireless radio connection. Einstein visited the NatLab. The first electronic music comes from this institute: researcher Dick Raaijmakers took a leap developing synthesizers and composed music with them. Philips didn't believe in this project and stopped giving it a chance: a commercial blunder, we can say with today's knowledge. Remember this when you are dancing to the electronic sounds of the STRP festival!

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Every time after a great invention, Philips grew tremendously. The radio came first, followed by the TV after the war.

Forbidden City

 

The expansion required new industrial areas: Strijp-R and Strijp-T on the other side of the ring road. The 27 hectares of Strijp-S were not nearly enough. In the 70s, Philips reached its peak at Strijp: about 10,000 people work in this area on a daily basis. The area got its nickname ‘Forbidden City', because it used to be surrounded by fences and barriers. One could only enter with a valid pass.

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The first ideas for redeveloping the area came up in 2000, when Philips left the City of Light.

Quartermasters

 

Philips sold Strijp-S to Park Strijp Beheer in 2004. The buildings that were still in use by Philips were hired back. Since 2006, the redevelopment of Strijp-S became a very serious plan. The first buildings had been demolished and new activities came to the area, particularly the creative industries and the annual Dutch Design Week. These ‘quartermasters' shape the area more and more every year. But in the years to come, there is still a lot to be done!