About the host Rik Verhalle
Rik studied architecture and is a city guide in Eindhoven. Every month he shares a tip.
This time, Rik takes us to one of the most well-known areas and former working-class neighborhoods of Eindhoven: Het Philipsdorp. In these striking streets, you will experience the history of the living and working life of former Philips' employees.
Philipsdorp (Philips Village) is located just outside the Strijp-S district, the former Philips factory site. People from all over the Netherlands came to Eindhoven to work for Philips. The company aimed to take care of its employees from the cradle to the grave, starting with one essential life need: a home. Philips bought land opposite the original light bulb factory (now the Philips Museum). From 1910, under the supervision of various architects, the construction of Philipsdorp, consisting of small but sturdy workers' houses, began.
At that time, it was not common for women to work, so the neighborhood was designed to create a sense of togetherness. For example, you'll find a lot of small squares and playgrounds, and the small streets will make you feel like you are inside. You can also see that the houses have no (or tiny) front gardens. Most people who came to Eindhoven to work for Philips were initially farmers and needed a kitchen garden at the back of the house. At the time, a front garden stood for status and luxury.
In addition to a house within walking distance of the factory site, the neighborhood had all kinds of amenities, such as company stores, a bread factory, a bathhouse, schools, sports fields, and a music club. Nowadays, most of those facilities have disappeared, but according to Rik, you can still find a lovely little coffee shop called 't Koffiehuisje where you can get coffee (what else?), tea, and homemade cakes.