Kubuswoning (Cubic Houses)
(also known as Paalwoningen
- Pole Dwellings)
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
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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