Cube houses

For day 5 of #blogjune some quirky architecture

As you come out of Rotterdam Centraal station it feels a bit like you’ve time travelled back to the sixties. Even the newer buildings have a cool mid-century feel, and the shiny new station has recycled the original sign and station clock.


A few metro stops away at Blaak you can see an amazing example of experimental seventies architecture, the Cube Houses designed by Piet Blom.


Beginning in 1974 from an original project of 55 houses, 38 were built – some reports say there are 39 cube houses, I didn’t count them myself.

The houses are tilted on a 45 degree angle and mounted on hexagonal supports, a little like the shape of a tree, and the groupings of the houses were intended to feel like a forest. It would have been wonderful if the project had been fully realised.


It must be quite a challenge to furnish these houses! One of them has been opened as a museum although there was a queue down the stairs and we didn’t end up going inside.

I didn’t learn until later that the fun tower next to the cube houses was also designed by Piet Blom, unofficially called the Pencil Tower because that’s exactly what it looks like.


Also near here is the amazing Markthal – a food market beneath a gigantic arched apartment building. It’s a building so astonishing that you can’t quite believe it was ever built.


The interior of the arch has windows looking into the airy market hall and is completely covered in a colourful mural of gigantic flowers, fruits and vegetables. Living in these apartments looking into the market hall must be as amazing as living in the cube houses.


5 responses to “Cube houses

  1. Wonderful. Might have to add Rotterdam to my list.

  2. I think you should!

  3. Does anyone live in the cube houses? They would make me seasick!

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