>> Sunday, March 25, 2007
To celebrate the 75th birthday of the Philips company in Eindhoven in 1966, a special exhibit on science and technology was opened in the Evoluon, a futuristic building looking like a flying saucer that has just landed. It was built for this purpose on a piece of land at a prime location, a triangular terrain at the crossing of three main roads, donated by the city of Eindhoven. The Evoluon was an idea of Frits Philips himself, a very idealistic man who wanted to give the people a beautiful and educational gift to celebrate the birthday of the company that bears his name. Earlier Philips had been present with big and beautiful exhibits at world expos, but later it was decided to stop doing this and use the money for a permanent building. At first the plans were to only exhibit Philips products, but later the net was widened.
Every year about half a million people visited the Evoluon. But in 1989 the exhibit was closed because of a declining number of visitors. At that time the buildings surrounding the dome were adapted and expanded so that the complex could be used as a conference centre. From 1993 to 1998 there was a big exhibit in the building, but it was focused only on Philips products. Only people who were invited could visit it. Those were business relations of Philips, but also schools and other organisations.
In 1994 a large building was put up in front of the evoluon that has an auditorium and movie theatre that can hold 440 persons. Today the Evoluon building complex is used as a high class business conference centre. It is still busy in there, but there is nothing to see for the general public anymore.
The Evoluon was the place of a CD-i exhibition every year. The president of Philips Media Games was here to show the latest games and novelties, prototypes and everything new CD-i had to offer. Also in 1995, Lost Boys Interactive produced a promotional CD-i about the Evoluon. The 'Evoluon Souvenir' is a promotional disc for the Philips Competence Center. The user can 'walk' through the Philips Competence Center, which is beautifully modelled in full moving 3D animations. I think this disc is one offers one of the best graphics I've ever seen on the system, and fortunately CD-i member Erronous retrieved the video of this rare CD-i disc.