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 and we’ll publish your feature. Video and sound recordings are also welcome.

Credits: Photos by Anna Fogel.

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  1. Fascinating, and an interesting way to fit houses together. But what about the insides? Is there wasted space where the bottom corners can't be used for living space or is it storage space somehow. Can you get pictures of the inside of one?

  2. It certainly looks and feels different inside the houses than in more traditionally shaped buildings - though rather than lost space, furniture and even appliances were designed for the space, so often furniture such as beds, desks and shelves, fit into the corners and are slanted with the walls.

    You can see some pictures of the insides in's review of the Stayokay Hostel:

  3. Anna, they remind me of the Ramat Polin housing scheme in Jerusalem
    the pictures on this link do not do the honeycomb scheme justice, i did have the pleasure of running around the complex dodging haredim stares last summer, and got some lovely photo's of an usual and largely uncelebrated feat of whimsical architecture

  4. Rereading this after a few months, I wonder how many people want to live in these buildings, and are they all the same type of people (e.g. young, with or without children). Are they all the same size? Do you view it differently because you grew up in a room with slanted walls?


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