Natlab stands for Philips' Natuurkundig Laboratorium (Physics Laboratory). It established in 1923 on the Kastanjelaan in Eindhoven. The laboratory had been an important initiative for Philips for almost 10 years, where new patents were being developed by independent researchers. The first director of Natlab was Gilles Holst. He provides an academic environment and invited internationally renowned scientists to give lectures, such as Einstein, who visited Natlab in 1923.

Basic research is carried out at Natlab, but there is also room for practical experiments. The first shortwave radio broadcasts, intended for the Dutch East Indies, took place from Natlab. Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana addressed the Dutch colony in the Dutch East Indies in 1927. That is why one of the rooms in Natlab is still called the Koninginnekamer (Queen's Room). During and after the Second World War, Natlab laid the foundation for the most important Philips inventions, such as the Video Long Play disc (VLP), the predecessor of the CD. Experimental composers, such as Dick Raaijmakers (aka Kid Baltan) worked with the first synthesizers.

In 1963 Natlab moves to Waalre, a suburb of Eindhoven, where a complete campus is being built. The freedom that researchers get there is enviable for many universities. That freedom led, among other things, to the development of the CD (together with Sony) and the no less important CD-ROM. Natlab is gaining world fame, an image that still lives on.

Natlab is a monumental building and was declared a monument of the European Physical Society (EPS) in 2017.


Since 2013, Natlab is a film theatre with a wide range of cultural activities. You go to Natlab for good films, for theatre, dance, exhibitions, lectures and debates. In addition, Natlab has a cafe and restaurant where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or drinks.

In addition, the screening rooms and spaces of Natlab are used as a location for (business) events, from small meetings to symposia and presentations for 200 to 250 guests.


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