polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Cube Houses in Rotterdam

by Anna Fogel

The cube houses are designed around inner courtyards to create a sense of community, or a village within a city.

The Kubuswoningen, or cube houses, in Rotterdam were designed by Piet Blom in the mid-1980s. Their distinctive shape — a cube tilted 45 degrees, resting on a hexagonal pylon — stands out along the city’s old harbor. Each house is designed around three floors, with custom-designed furniture and appliances that accommodate the sharp angle of the walls.

Located along the old harbor, the cube houses are integrated into a larger commercial complex.

Blom’s motto — “living under an urban roof” — is reflected in the design of the 38 cube houses, which he shaped as a village within a city. He has described them as a forest, with each cube house representing a tree. The homes surround central courtyards, and the ground floors contain commercial spaces and a school.

The cube houses are placed at a 45-degree angle to neighboring buildings, emphasizing their distinctiveness.

This is part of a collection of featured places from around the world. If you’d like to share photos of a place you find interesting, please add them to the Flickr group or send them to info@thepolisblog.org and we’ll publish your feature. Video and sound recordings are also welcome.

Credits: Photos by Anna Fogel.

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