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For residents and visitors to the city, the Lichttoren in Eindhoven is a recognisable building. The Lichttoren is one of the city's landmark buildings that together form the industrial heritage of Philips and was recently renovated. The building now has more than 45,000m2 of floor space in which people can live, work and create. Among other things, it will house a café-restaurant, shops, office space and 117 homes for sale and rent.
The Lichttoren is located on the edge of the city centre and forms a link with the Strijp-S district further down. For years, this area was known as the 'Forbidden City' because only Philips employees had access to this huge industrial site. Nowadays, Strijp-S is a popular location for start-ups, innovative catering concepts and is also very popular for living.
The Lichttoren in Eindhoven is one of Philips' first large production buildings, where the light bulbs were tested in the tower. But in 1998 Philips moved out of the building and it became vacant. The municipality of Eindhoven wanted to preserve this striking building, which was so recognisable for the city. Partly because it was symbolic of its industrial past, but also because the building with its enormous windows is a combination of exceptional architectural work by Beltman, Roosenburg and Scheffer.
As the Lichttoren in Eindhoven is a national monument, the renovation had to be carried out with great care in order to reconcile the restrictions and regulations on the one hand with the requirements of modern times on the other. One point of attention, for example, were the steel exterior window frames. These were recognisable and typical of the building, but caused problems with condensation because they could not be insulated. Retaining them was therefore not an option in order to meet today's standards. Eventually, the decision was made to develop special frame profiles for the Lichttoren.
The Lichttoren was originally a factory building, but after the renovation, the building was to be used for completely different purposes than it was originally designed for. This meant that a number of structural issues had to be resolved in terms of noise, moisture and climate control.
The foundations, too, turned out not to be entirely sound anymore. Originally, wooden foundation piles had been used, but these had been seriously damaged by fungi and bacteria over the years. By means of jet grouting, more than 1200 concrete piles with a length of 9.5 metres were placed under the existing foundation in 2005 in order to stabilise the foundation.
Since the Lichttoren was one of the first buildings to use the Hennebique system for its concrete construction, the aim was to highlight its typical concrete structure and industrial features by making them visible after reconstruction. At the same time, the Light Tower was equipped with a sustainable energy supply system based on heat pumps and heat/cold storage systems supplemented by district heating for the tap water. The system provides underfloor heating in winter and underfloor cooling in summer, and cuts energy costs significantly.
When the renovation work is completed, some 15,500m2 of new construction will have been realised in the Lichttoren in the form of housing, shops, commercial premises, a grand café and a hotel. There are also parking spaces for the residents and users of the Light Tower. The building has an underground car park consisting of two levels with a total of 260 parking spaces. The area above the parking garage has been transformed into a park for the residents and users of the Lichttoren.
Would you also like to live in the Eindhoven Light Tower? You can buy several lofts in this special building with a spacious layout and a phenomenal view of the city. You do need to have a hefty wallet with you, because the prices vary from a few tonnes to one and a half million, but then you have a very special place you can call home.
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