The “mandatory” Art of Natlab | a tip of Rik

Today, city guide Rik shows us three iconic works in and around Natlab at Strijp-S. From a historical mural to contemporary design.

Philips' old Physics Laboratory on Kastanjelaan was the breeding ground for many innovations. The research institute was founded at the beginning of the last century and for many years it was home to several top scientists, including Gilles Holst. In 1923 Albert Einstein even came to visit.

The architect of this municipal monument is Dirk Roosenburg. He also led the expansion, which took place a number of years later. Rik talks about a scheme that applied to many buildings: when renovating, a percentage (about 1 to 2 percent) of the total costs must be spent on visual art.

Art work #1

An obligation that Philips has fulfilled with the installation of an impressive mural by  Eindhoven artist Albert Troost (1924-2010), on the first floor. In 2007, he stated about his work: 'I make visual art in relation to architecture: stained glass, wall mosaic, and murals. The construction of the theme and the building must come together. This sometimes requires the construction to be adapted to the design, e.g. for rhythm.”

The mural, that has been part of the Natlab since 1957, "represents the symbolic processing of nature and who people are in relation to each other.”

Art work #2

But Natlab, now a cultural hotspot with movie theaters and an auditorium, has more art treasures to offer. In a room on the ground floor, opposite the restaurant, there are three tapestries by Claudy Jongstra. This place, called the Think Room, can be rented for meetings or private lunches.

Jongstra designed patterns in wool and silk, with which she expresses the collaboration between the various parties in Natlab. Characteristic for her way of working is that she produces her own raw materials. She has her own sheep flock and produces dyes with plants that are grown around her studio in Friesland. The history of the building inspired her in creating the tapestries, she says:

"The research that was previously carried out for Philips in Natlab was my starting point for making work in which elements such as research, quality, testing, process, movement and results are central.” In many shades you can see the colour green, which symbolizes growth and development.

Art work #3

You can find the third work of art outside. If you are standing with your face in front of the Natlab, you will see a little tunnel on your left containing the interactive light crystals by the famous Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde. The hundreds of LED crystals lie on a floor with a special magnetic field for wireless charging. You can touch and pick them up and make new creations yourself (someone once used the crystals to propose to his girlfriend). The Crystals are part of Light-S, a light program in Eindhoven that is intended to create new experiences between people, space and innovative techniques.

Oh, and here’s an extra summer tip from Rik…

Enjoy a movie under the stars this summer. In July and August the Natlab shows beautiful films in the courtyard of the building. The outdoor movies are free of charge (but don’t forget to bring your own folding chair).

Rik studied architecture and is also an Eindhoven city guide. He shares a new tip every other week.