Evoluon originally opened on 24 September 1966. The building, designed by architects Louis Kalff and Leo de Bever, was a gift from Philips to the city of Eindhoven in honor of the company’s 75th anniversary. The building introduced a wide audience to the technological development in an accessible – and at the time already interactive – way.
Due to continued losses, Philips decided to close the exhibition in 1989. Since then, the building, with its distinctive discus shape in concrete, has mainly functioned as a conference centre; it was without great success. Last Saturday, September 24, Evoluon reopened as a museum with the first exhibition ‘Retro Future’ by Next Nature Network.
Added or original
M+R interior architecture has been asked by Next Nature to develop the concept and design for the entrance, lounge, restaurant and meeting rooms. The agency has been looking for a way to create an attractive and sustainable design with limited resources. Thus, M+R wanted to revive the building in its original form and remove the clutter.
The agency wanted to give a clear signature to all new additions, explains M+R. The office also wanted to make maximum use of the existing interior. All additions, new or recycled from the building itself, are provided with what M+R refers to as a ‘new skin’ in blue.
“By consistently executing everything that is new and also temporary in this color, we have added a layer to the monumental building,” explains M+R. “In this way, the original appearance remains very legible. The interior is temporary and ephemeral.”
Design in blue
The color blue is not definitely ‘out of the blue’, but chosen because the color represents purity and cleanliness, is often associated with technology and the future, and in the painting it plays a large role in atmospheric perspective, explains M+R. Blue is also reflected in Next Nature Network’s branding, and it is the color of the initiator of Evoluon, Philips.
Chairs and tables from various designers and artists have been chosen for the loose interior design. Visitors will find furniture by Maarten Baas (101 chairs), Joep van Lieshout (Skull and AVL chair), Piet Hein Eek (aluminum chair) and Michiel van der Kley (whose Chase G coat racks are set up like Martians in the main entrance). ). For the terrace and lounge, M+R has designed a modular sofa in the shape of an X.
The idea behind the design of the public spaces is that everything is optimally reusable. The idea is to auction off the designer furniture according to its function, so that it can have a second life; each object gets a label with a code and certificate from Next Nature. The fact that all the furniture is made in the specific blue also makes it even more striking, says M+R.
The existing objects in Evoluon are covered with OSB sheet material; linoleum is used as a finish for bar tops and floors (islands). The furniture for the terrace, which has been realized in collaboration with Vermaat, is also done throughout in blue. This includes the Loop Chair by Stefan Scholten. As an exception to the blue color scheme, M+R has completely completed the à la carte part of the restaurant in black.
The Universe and the Earth
The wall covering in the lounge was designed by the artist Sofie Crespo and represents ‘the canon of the universe and the earth’. The wall covering in the restaurant was designed by M+R; she combines a futuristic image by artist Bryan Versteeg with images by Evoluon.
The new lighting is designed as slim black rails with LED up and down lighting. The uplighting illuminates the concrete columns and the wooden slatted ceiling. The lighting can be activated in different ways according to the wishes of the moment.