Intro 2023 | Eyecatchers in Eindhoven

Dear first-years, welcome to your new student city! As you’ll undoubtedly be taking a lot of wrong turns on your bike in the time to come – perfectly normal for a new 'Eindhovenaar' – we at Cursor thought we’d give you an overview of the landmarks in the City of Light. We even included links to Google Maps, so you’ll always know approximately where you are.

Around the campus

Seeing how most students travel by train, chances are you’re already familiar with Eindhoven Central Station. If you look at the city center side of the building (1956) from a distance, it only takes a little bit of imagination to picture it as an old-fashioned Philips radio, with an antenna (the tower) and a dial (the clock). Architect Koen van der Gaast, however, does not appear to have had that in mind when he designed the building.

For all photos: click to enlarge

If you want to get to TU/e campus, you exit the station on the north side. If you see a remarkable piece of art consisting of a bunch of huge bowling pins being hit by an equally gargantuan bowling ball, you’ll know you’re heading the right way. The object from 2000 is called FlyingPins and marks the beginning of Kennedylaan, Eindhoven’s most important thoroughfare. Seen from the station, TU/e campus is to its right.

About a mile further on, on the southeastern corner of the campus, you’ll find the Berenkuil. This is a traffic interchange spread out across two levels: above-ground roads for cars and tunnels for cyclists. What’s special about this complicated roundabout is the large quantity of street art it features. Every year, during the Step in the Arena event, about 150 graffiti artists put a fresh coat of colorful paint on the many square meters of concrete in the Berenkuil.

City center

The heart of Eindhoven is home to buildings reminiscent of the industrial history of the city (i.e. Philips), interspersed with nice examples of modern design. If you take a right from the station, you’ll first hit 18 Septemberplein, which is dominated by the green façade of Bijenkorf department store and the tall pillars of Piazza shopping mall, designed by Massimiliano Fuksas.

A little further down the road you’ll be met by a sizeable eyecatcher, the Blob. This organically shaped retail building composed of steel and 1,500 triangular windows is another one of Fuksas’s creations. The Blob is on Emmasingel, along with several former Philips buildings. On the west side, you have the Lichttoren (now a bar and restaurant) and the Witte Dame, which houses the Design Academy and the city library. On the east side, you’ll find the former Philips headquarters the Bruine Heer and the Philips Museum, which is located in the corporation’s very first light bulb factory.

If you take a left at the end of Emmasingel, following the Keizersgracht and Wal, you’ll arrive at City Hall, a concrete behemoth dating back to 1969. Continue on your way and you’ll end up at the striking Van Abbemuseum for contemporary art.

High-rise buildings

In the old days, church towers determined Eindhoven’s skyline, but nowadays they generally play second fiddle to the sometimes vertiginous high-rise buildings sprinkled across the city. And there’s plenty in the works still, such as The Dutch Mountains, a double residential tower with a timber structure.

Anyways, back to the here and now. If you were to exit the station (at the side of the center) today, you’d be stopped in your tracks by The Social Hub (2016), a 76-meter tall hotel catering mostly to students. From there, it takes four minutes by bike along Vestdijk to get to the Vestedatoren (2006). Owing to Jo Coenen’s slim design, this tower appears even higher than the ninety meters it actually measures.

Finally, the Trudo Toren (2021) on Strijp-S deserves a mention, because how often do you see a ‘vertical forest’ rising 76 meters into the sky? Design: Stefano Boeri.

Returning briefly to the subject of churches, as a student your first acquaintance will probably be with Sint Catharinakerk from 1867. The reason for this is simple: this church, which can be recognized by its two towers, is at the beginning of nightlife street Stratumseind.

Your eye may also be caught by the former Paterskerk, which is nowadays called DOMUSDELA and is used as a ‘house of ceremony’, because you can see the Heilig Hartbeeld – colloquially referred to as Jezus Waaghals (Daredevil Jezus) – atop the tower from a long way off.


Although Philips left a huge mark on Eindhoven as a whole, this is perhaps most obvious in the Strijp city district, where many people worked and lived (in the Philipsdorp). If you bike in the direction of Strijp from the center, along Mathildelaan, you’ll first see Philips Stadion, home of PSV soccer club. It was right here that the then five-year old Frits Philips got the ball rolling for the first official match of the company team in 1911.

From the stadium, take PSV-laan to get to Strijp-S. This trendy residential, business and cultural area used to house many Philips factories, including the famed Natlab. The most iconic building here is the Klokgebouw (1929). If you look closely, you’ll see that the clock at the top of the building doesn’t have numbers, but letters that spell out Philips.

Also in Strijp, but just outside the ring road (just bike in the direction of the high ‘totem pole’), you’ll find what’s arguably Eindhoven’s most eccentric building: the Evoluon. In 1966, Philips marked its 75th anniversary by presenting this ‘UFO’ to the city of Eindhoven. Under the concrete dome, which has a 77 meter diameter, there used to be a technology museum. These days, the Evoluon functions as a venue for events and exhibitions.   

Last but not least, we want to make mention of a brand-new eyecatcher in Eindhoven: the seven meter high bust of Gerard Philips. It has adorned the Gloeilampplantsoen in Strijp-T (another one of Philips’s former industrial areas) since May. Made of steel and weighing in at 23 tons, it’s all the hype on Instagram. And definitely worth a look even if you’re not into the socials. Just like all of the other landmarks featured in this article, really. Have a lot of fun discovering your new city!

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