Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands


The Cubic houses, are a set of innovative houses built in Rotterdam and Helmond in The Netherlands, designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of “living as an urban roof”: high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level. They are cubes, situated in different angles over hexagon formed pylons, so they resemble trees, and altogether – make a forest. There are 38 small cubes, and they all are attached one to another.

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The cubes don’t have any straight walls inside, so this gives residents a headache when they need to buy their furniture. People that choose to live in these houses have to be a genious in home decoration. Sometimes a Cube House is offered for sale: prices start at €175.000,-

A Cube House on display for tourists
The Cube Houses attracted so many spectators that one of the residents decided to open his house to the public. This Kijkkubus (Show Cube) is open to the public to see what it’s like to live in a Cube House. After a visit, you can imagine the challenges that the residents have to deal with every day! Watch your head while walking through the house!

Sleeping in a cube house?

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

Do you want to experience what it´s like to sleep in a cube house? You can book a room in the StayOkay Hostel Rotterdam which is located in one of the megacubes. The hostel doesn´t have any straight walls and the staff had to be very creative to use the space. You can book a bed in a shared bedroom or your own private room.

Rotterdam Blaak Architecture

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Cube Houses are located within the Blaak area where you can find some other striking designs like the underground Blaak railway station, the city library and Het Potlood (Pencil tower). Have a look at the extensive Rotterdam architecture guide for an overview of the most striking buildings

The original idea of these cubic houses came about in the 1970s. Piet Blom has developed a couple of these cubic houses that were built in Helmond.

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The city of Rotterdam asked him to design housing on top of a pedestrian bridge and he decided to use the cubic houses idea. The concept behind these houses is that he tries to create a forest by each cube representing an abstract tree; therefore the whole village becomes a forest.

The cubes are tilted and sit on hexagon-shaped pole structures. The cubes contain the living areas, which are split into three levels. The triangle-shaped lower level contains the living area. The windows on this level open onto the environment below due to the slope of the tilted cube. The middle level contains the sleeping area and a bathroom, while the top level, also in a triangular shape, is used as either an extra bedroom or a living space. The top level provides a great view since the apex of the room is a three sided pyramid with windows all around.

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The pole below some of the cubes allow for storage space as well as the staircase that leads to the entrance, while others have shops on the promenade level.

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The structure of the pole consists of three concrete pillars that have concrete block filling the space in between. As for the cube, the basic structure is concrete floor with concrete pillars. On top of this structure is something similar to a typical wood frame structure with wood stud framing and rockwool insulation. To protect the wooden frame and the insulation from exposure to the elements, they are covered with cement/wood fiberboards. To give the cube a nice appearance, zinc panels were used and complemented by double-glazed windows.

Cubic Houses - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands

The cubic houses are located right next to the Blaak Metro station.

Another option is to ride a bike. It is about a 15 minutes bike ride from the Rotterdam Central Station. Bike through Stationsplein and then get onto Mauritsweg going south. Make a left onto Mauritsstraats, and along that street you will pass through Schouburgplein which was designed by West 8. That will lead you through the shopping area of Rotterdam. Make a right when you get to Cool Singel and a left onto Hoog Straat which will bring you to the square just outside of the Cubic Houses.

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