At the beginning of the twentieth century housing for workers was in great demand. This was also the case in Eindhoven (Netherlands), which is why Philips bought a plot of land adjoining the old light bulb factory in order to build a factory village. Nowadays Philipsdorp is no longer a factory village, and it is difficult to find any of the original features. In order to restore the houses in this prewar neighbourhood, the housing corporation Woonbedrijf initiated a large-scale renovation project in 2012.

Project details

Project Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands
Architect BouwHulpGroep
Client Woonbedrijf, Eindhoven
Clay roof tiles used Koramic Tuile du Nord 44 blauw gesmoord und natuurrood
Facing bricks used Terca Rot kolengestookt vormbak Renova

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands - street view, renovation, pitched roof

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands - renovation, pitched roof, street view

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands, renovation, pitched roof, detail

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands - renovation, pitched roof, detail

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven (old picture), Netherlands - renovation, pitched roof

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven (old picture), Netherlands

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands - renovation, pitched roof, birds eye

Philipsdorp in Eindhoven, Netherlands

Creating a renovation plan

Philipsdorp is one of the largest neighbourhood regeneration projects in the municipal district of Eindhoven”, says Jorg van Waas, real estate developer at Woonbedrijf. “Initially, the idea was to replace most of the houses, however the inhabitants entirely disagreed. Because of this, the council, the inhabitants and Woonbedrijf ultimately devised a renovation plan for the houses.”
 
The architectural firm BouwhulpGroep was engaged in an advisory role for the renovation of Philipsdorp. This agency specialises in refurbishing existing residential buildings. Architect Roel Simons explains BouwhulpGroep’s role in the project in greater detail: “We advised on the housing which was to be tackled, and what it should eventually look like. The history of the neighbourhood was researched, to ascertain what
had been there previously, which historic elements had now been removed, and which of these would have to be reinstated. This aspect was extensively discussed with the inhabitants and Woonbedrijf.”

Ready for the next 40 years

Prior to the start of renovation work, Woonbedrijf and an inhabitants’ project group formulated a framework document, outlining the neighbourhood’s aims. “The basis for renovation was that the houses had, at the very least, to be around for another 40 years”, explains Van Waas. “We wanted to improve the civil engineering, structural and technical housing quality. Living comfort and functionality of the houses also had to be improved”, says Van Waas. An additional vital baseline for the renovation work was to improve the cultural-heritage value of the neighbourhood. Philipsdorp has been designated as a listed area since 2003.

Continuous deliberation

The most salient original architectural aspects of the houses in Philipsdorp were researched. “In this regard we didn’t merely state, ‘it will now be as it was before’. We also took present-day requirements into account”, says Simons. “For example, the old roof tiles were of such poor quality that they were all replaced.
 
To restore authenticity as well as possible, the original type of roof tile was selected. The façades of the houses were cleaned and repaired.
 
“It was essential that the colour was carefully matched to the colour of the original, so that the entire surface area blended together”, explains Simons.
“In addition, it is of course vitally important that the new bricks match the original ones as far as possible”, adds Van Waas.

Intensive project

The renovation project involves 771 houses. The majority of these houses have already been completed. This is a very intensive project for the inhabitants. They have to move to a temporary home for three months, after which they can return to their homes that in the meantime have been fully rebuilt. Fortunately we hear their delight in the end result”, says Van Waas. “The option to renovated instead of building new houses ultimately has a positive effect. “As the costs for a new building are generally higher, the rent for new buildings also often rises. We have been able to avoid this with this renovation.” says Van Waas.

Related inspiration articles