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Coordinates: The Evoluon is a conference centre and former science museum erected by the electronics and electrical company Philips at Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 1966. Since its construction, it has become a landmark and a symbol for the city.
The building is unique due to its very futuristic design, resembling a landed flying saucer. It was designed by architect Louis Christiaan Kalff, while the exhibition it housed was conceived by James Gardner. The building was based on an idea by Frits Philips, who originally made a sketch of the building on a paper napkin. Frits Philips wanted to give the people of Eindhoven a beautiful and educational gift to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company that bears his family name.
Its concrete dome is 77 metres (253 ft) in diameter and is held in place by 169 kilometres (105 mi) of reinforcing steel bars.
In the 1960s and 70s the Evoluon attracted large visitor numbers, since its interactive exhibitions were a new and unique concept in the Netherlands at that time. But when competing science museums opened in other cities, the number of visitors began to declined. After several years of losing money, the original museum closed down in 1989 and the Evoluon was converted into a conference centre, opening in 1998.
In the UK the Evoluon is chiefly remembered from Bert Haanstra's wordless short film entitled simply Evoluon, commissioned by Philips to publicise the museum, and shown as a trade test colour film on BBC television from 1968 to 1972.
In October 2013 the Evoluon was used to stage four 3D-concerts by the German electronic band Kraftwerk, each before an audience of 1,200 spectators. Key band member Ralf Hütter handpicked the venue for its retro-futuristic look. Bespoke 3D-visuals of the saucer section of the building descending from space were used in the live rendition of their track Spacelab.
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