Like many urban centers in the Netherlands, Eindhoven experienced massive devastation of its architecture and infrastructure during WWII. The reconstruction of the postwar years was supported by several major drivers: the Philips Electronics Company (founded in the 19th century and headquartered overseas during the war), and TU Eindhoven, founded in 1956. While some Philips structures survived the war and remain standing, notably the Lichttoren Eindhoven (AKA the “Light Bulb Factory”) and Philips Stadion, the postwar years saw the company expand their footprint within the city via new structures for both industrial production and housing for workers.

Lichttoren Eindhoven. Photo by Rosemoon via Wikimedia Commons

One of the stranger manifestations of Philips’ postwar architectural legacy is the flying saucer-shaped Evoluon, built in 1966 as a conference center. The building remains in use as a museum, and continues to project retro space-age weirdness in its saucer-shaped planters and atom-branded door handles.

Northeast of the city center, the campus of TU Eindhoven is studded with several Modernist structures. Most striking among these is the Atlas Building. The structure was built between 1958 and 1963 and renovated for maximum energy efficiency in 2019, retaining its cathedral-like lobby and distinctive concrete supports. Nearby, concrete statues and picnic areas dot the landscape, bringing a bit of Brutalist ornament to the grassy center of campus.

Last but not least among Eindhoven’s Modernist offerings is Eindhoven Centraal Station, which visitors to the city pass through upon arriving by train. While the station’s location has remained unchanged since the 19th century, the current building was a product of the postwar rebuilding efforts, and was based on a design by Dutch architect Koen van der Gaast. The building has numerous features that give it an air of modernity and whimsy, including a high central atrium, various large-format clocks, and several stained-glass windows that cast swatches of color onto the earth-tone walls.