Saturday, March 10, 2012

WTF is that?: The weirdest buildings in Eindhoven

Yes, we have a lot of strange/weird/mad buildings in Eindhoven. You hate it or love it. What are these buildings and what are the stories behind them? We made a selection of our favorites!

The Evoluon
This UFO look-a-like building is one of the most famous buildings in Eindhoven. It was built in 1966 to celebrate the 75th birthday of Philips. The purpose of the building was to open a special exhibit on science and technology in it. All of this was based on an idea by Frits Philips. He wanted to give the people of Eindhoven a beautiful educational gift to celebrate the anniversary of Philips. The museum was unique, because visitors did not only look at the exhibits but also were able to interact with them. You actually were allowed to touch things. After the opening, every year about a half million people visited in the Evoluon. But in 1989 the exhibit was closed because of a declining number of visitors. Today the Evoluon is used as a business conference centre.

De Bijenkorf
De Bijenkorf (literally ‘the beehive’) is a chain of upscale department stores in the Netherlands. De Bijenkorf of Eindhoven is without a doubt a very striking building. It was opened in 1969. The concept of the architect (Gio Punti) was to design a building which represent ‘the strength, the power and the importance of the city’. He used green stones, because this was a dominant color in the landscape of the Netherlands. If you take a good look at the picture, you can also see that the building has a fake third floor. In the beginning the people of Eindhoven didn’t like the building, but that is different now.

The Flying Pins
No, this isn’t a publicity stunt of the local bowling club. This is actually art. The artists, Cleas Oldenburg and Coosje Bruggen, had a big vision behind it. We quote: ‘The configuration of the ball surrounded by smaller elements of the same size refer to the creation of the city Eindhoven. Eindhoven (as the hearth) was also surrounded by 5 independent villages, it’s like the solar system.’ Yeah right...

Soestdijk Palace II
This is the little version of Soestdijk Palace, Soestdijk Palace II. The real Soestdijk Palace is a former palace of the Dutch royal family. Dutch entertainer Johan Vlemminx lives in Soestdijk Palace II. The building used to be a police station, but Vlemminx rebuilt it into a copy of Soestdijk Palace. Another weird thing about the building is the fact that it is in front of Jewish cemetery…

The Blob
The Blob (Binary Linear Object Building) is a characteristic and progressive building in the city centre of Eindhoven. It was designed by architect Massimiliano Fuksus, who also designed the shopping centre Piazza. There was a lot of discussion about the design of the Blob. A lot of people didn’t like the idea of building a futuristic construction in front of historical national monuments like the Witte Dame (White Lady) and the Philips Lighttower.  Anyway, the blob was opened in 2010. Inside the Blob you can find different stores like for example the Dept.

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