Kubuswoning (Cubic Houses)
(also known as Paalwoningen - Pole Dwellings) 
Overblaak 70
The Netherlands

Piet Blom 1984 

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.

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.


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.

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.


Wilma Kwan 2003


How to visit

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.

There is a Show-Cube which is fully furnished and open for public to visit. The address for the Show-Cube is Overblaak 70. For more detail on accessibility and information on the cubic houses, please visit www.kubuswoning.nl

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