25 November 2014

Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen) in Rotterdam

In my previous travelogue, I showed you pictures of the innovative and interesting futuristic architecture that can be found in Rotterdam. Well, there is one section of town that I particularly liked, and that was the Blaak District, where the Kubuswoningen or Cube Houses can be found. This collection of apartments are designed by architect Piet Blom back in the 1970s, with the concept of living as an urban roof, so to speak. You may have seen pictures of these houses before, but it definitely is eye-catching.

As you can see, each apartment is linked with each other, and it creates this image of a forest of apartments suspended on top of columns made with concrete. I wondered what it would be like to live in one of these, so I visited one! There is actually one unit that serves as a model and a museum, which I checked out.

It is a small house, but for a couple, I think it is enough. The entrance to each house is through the hollow concrete column, which serves as a staircase. There are three levels inside. The first level serves as the living room, kitchen, and dining room. In the house I visited, it was basically where the front desk of the museum was. The second level is the private level, so to speak. This is where the bedroom and office/library is located (or two bedrooms, if you prefer). I guess it is a two-bedroom apartment, but if you want more space, then probably you would use one of the bedrooms as an office space or library, the way it was set up in the museum. And finally, the topmost and third level is a small attic, which can serve as one's personal sanctuary. In the museum, it was set up as a little cactus garden. I could see it serving as an entertainment room, or a personal nook. The glass windows can open outward, and it provides an interesting view of the city outside, as you can see in the following pictures.

So there. I think I can live here. At least for the novelty of it. It is definitely interesting to see how the Dutch makes use of their space: the Netherlands isn't the most spacious country, and every time I visit the Netherlands I feel cramped, but sometimes, you have to give them credit for being innovative.


  1. I agree, looks big enough by European standards. That said, I think the design would annoy me as a resident after a few days. I like normal angles!

    1. Zhu,

      Haha, yes. I agree. That's the negative point about this thing, there are angles and the resulting spaces that don't necessarily get used.