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Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen)
Rotterdam and surrounding
Architecture,  Unusual places
Architecture, 
Unusual places

Besides the Swan Bridge, Rotterdam has another fascinating place that is definitely worth seeing. It is Cube houses. The avant-garde architecture resembles children’s toy blocks fancifully placed on a high pedestal.

The idea to create such unusual buildings appeared at the beginning of the 1970s. There was an out-of-use bridge over a large transport artery. The space was empty, so it was decided to erect residential houses to be used as municipal housing. But ordinary buildings seemed insipid.

The architect Piet Blom worked on the project and suggested creating a village with tree huts. Different cities have similar quarters. But the architect went further and decided to make huts of an unusual cube shape using modern technologies. So arose the entire village where houses are upside down cubes.

Initially, this district was meant to have over 50 houses, a school, shops. Construction began in 1982, but the project did not come to life to a full degree. There are only 38 buildings.

The residential complex has three levels: the ground level with shops, schools, playgrounds, the second one with a walking area, and the third with residential cubes. The houses are very unusual. Each cube is on a pylon and tilted so that its three sides face the sky, and three – the ground. Each house consists of cement and timber frame.

What does a house look like inside? Very strange. One cube is one house. Walls and ceilings are angled. Such avant-garde design takes much space: it is difficult to equip a pyramidal or triangular room properly. Each house has three floors. A kitchen and a living-room occupy the first triangular-shaped floor, bedrooms, and bathroom – the second one, a study, a nursery, or just a restroom – the third. The third floor is the most attractive because it opens up an exciting view of the whole city.

Address: Overblaak Street, Kubuswoningen

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Tanya Slyotina

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