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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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