Strijp S in transition

Philips’ slow retreat from Eindhoven was visible in the city’s landscape. Strijp S, the Philips factory district built in the 1920s, was seen as the symbol of Eindhoven the company town. The district marks now marks the transition to a new era.

With an area of 25 ha, about one kilometer from the city center, Strijp S was filled to capacity with factories, offices, and warehouses, with little municipal influence. Philips, which was often called ‘a state in a city’, had its own schools, sports clubs, and cultural institutions in Eindhoven.

Following the decline of the tobacco and textile factories, only the DAF truck company could attempt to keep pace with Philips. With the help of the American PACCAR, DAF became a strong player in the competitive international truck market. VDL, which bought the Philips machine factory, ASML, and other technology firms – often Philips offshoots ¬– came up and took its place alongside DAF.

Philips’ changing position in the 1980s gradually helped the ‘forbidden city’ of Strijp S evolve from a noisy industrial complex into a quiet center for product research and administration. Around 2000, the city council and Philips signed a covenant to transfer the district in fifteen years to the municipality in order to enable new life in that part of town.

Strijp S will become a symbol of the ‘new Eindhoven’, a center of creativity and home to small technology and design firms. The former factory district serves as a laboratory for new developments, a sort of small Silicon Valley for aspiring inventors.

How to cite this page


Hans Schippers, 'Strijp S in transition', Inventing Europe,


  1. Otten, Ad. “Histories.” In Complex Strijp S/T/R, edited by Norbert van Onna, 129 –165. Eindhoven, 2002.
  2. Metze, Marcel. Ze zullen weten wie ze voor zich hebben. Anton Philips 1874-1951. Amsterdam, 2004.
  3. Schippers, Hans. “Strijp S als symbool van company town Eindhoven.” In Transformatie Strijp S: herinnering, verbeelding, toekomst, edited by Kees Doevendans en Loes Veldpaus, 17-27. Eindhoven, 2007.

This tour is related to the temporary Exhibition in the Boerhaave Museum



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About this tour


Eindhoven: Bulbs, Brains, and Design

In the course of a century, Eindhoven developed from a regional trade center to a global technological hub. Philips, car and truck factory DAF, and subsequently VDL Group and Philips offshoots ASML, FEI, and Neways Electronics made the city famous for technology and innovation. While design became another of the city’s trademarks, innovation center Brainport is working hard to secure the region’s future in valorizing knowledge.

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