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4x Faces of NRE

In this series we look for special workspaces and creative incubators in Eindhoven. Today the NRE site. For a long time a construction site full of cranes and soil remediation companies, now a sanctuary for studios, cafes, creative agencies and small-scale housing. A mix of monumental buildings and modern architecture - often designed and rebuilt by the owners themselves. We took a look and talked to four residents and entrepreneurs from the very beginning.

Madelon van der Zanden - owner of cycling café Cyklist

Cyklist is the neighborhood pub where everything comes together. The starting point for many cycling tours, the home base of many local residents. You can come here early in the morning for a cup of coffee, and later in the day for a drink or a bite to eat. On Wednesday it is pasta night. Madelon opened the doors of the café and restaurant six years ago, together with her husband Rutger. "NRE is an exciting area in Eindhoven. Because everyone here is new and full of ideas, we can shape this place together. That's not always easy, but it's great fun."

Madelon van der Zanden

Tineke Beunders & Nathan Wierink - founders Aptum

Tineke and Nathan took over Gashouder 13 from the municipality a few years ago for a 'friendly price'. The completely dilapidated building had been empty for over twenty years. There wasn’t even a key to open the door. "We had to use a screwdriver to enter the place", recalls Nathan. What they found inside was: tons of pigeon droppings, dusty nudes from the seventies and a tree that had been happily growing there all those years. Tineke: "In short, it was a total mess. But we were instantly in love." 

A period of intensive renovation and 140 thousand pounds of demolition later, the building has changed beyond recognition. Those who now step through the French doors enter the playful world of Aptum: their company in designing and producing custom-made lighting projects. Tineke: "We used to employ a lot of people and have a large production line, now we work with a small team on more personal and specialized assignments. The scale of this building suits our business."


Lex van Lith - directeur van Make Eindhoven

The enormous warehouse of Make Eindhoven on the canal side of the NRE site is a playground for artistic makers and creative minds. There are facilities for metal and glass working and there is a graphics workshop. Artists and designers come here, from Tilburg to Brazil, to test ideas and for the production of their new goods. In addition to equipment, a great deal of knowledge can be found here about materials and processing techniques, for example. Lex: "We guide makers in the realization of their project."


Collective Nul Zes

Some eighteen creative professionals are associated with Nul Zes. From designers and illustrators to chefs and researchers. Philippe Rol, himself co-owner of architectural firm Atelier to the Bone: "I think what we have in common is that we all have an affinity with thinking about what isn't there yet." In addition to their own work, they also take on larger projects together, such as the co-development of the VDMA site. And of course the recent transformation of their own building at NRE, with individual studios, workshops (for wood, metal and ceramics), large event space and a fun roof terrace to chill. "The best work environment and the coolest place in town to party, inspire and connect."