Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Cube Houses of Rotterdam




Rotterdam is a city of architectural delights. The Markthal, Erasmus bridge, Centraal Station and these cube houses are just a few of the modern structures to rise in recent years. The cube houses were designed by the architect, Piet Blom, and completed in 1984. It is in the busy waterfront area, across from the impressive Markthal and the Blaak metro station. There are 38 units of these "tree houses". One of them, the Kijk-kubus or the show cube, is open to visitors (for a fee) who wish to see the interior layout of the house.

A hexagonal pylon supports the cube, just like a tree trunk. Collectively the cubes represent a forest, a forest of homes or a village. The house has three levels. The living room and kitchen are on the first floor. The bedrooms and a bathroom are on the second level and the third floor has space for a sitting area. The stairs and storage space are in the hexagon. The cube leans about 45 degrees. New zinc roofs were installed in 1998 to provide better insulation.


The project undertaken by Blom required 205 residential units/hectare. To meet this demand, Blom designed a 13-story building in the shape of a pencil called Blaaktoren and another complex known as the Spaanse Kaden in addition to the cube houses. The "pencil" can be seen from the courtyard of the cube houses. 

There is a hostel on site called Stayokay for those who would like to experience living in a cube house. AirBnB also lists a cube house rental in Rotterdam. 

Address: Overblaak 70, Rotterdam. 

How to get to Rotterdam:
Trains leave Amsterdam Centraal every half hour for the 1:05 hour journey to Rotterdam. There is also an express train that takes just 36 minutes. Buy tickets from machines throughout the station or at the ticket office (which usually has long queues).  

Where to eat:
The Markthal (Market Hall) has a dizzying array of food stalls, bars, restaurants and a supermarket and it's a stone's throw from the Cube Houses.

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Images by TravelswithCharie


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