October 27, 2011
The Cubic Houses are a curious and magnificent architectural wonder located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. They were conceived and constructed by architect Piet Blom in the 1970s. Blom was asked by Rotterdam town planners to solve the dilemma of building houses on top of a pedestrian bridge, and, having built similar houses earlier in another town, Blom chose to repeat the design in Rotterdam.
Structurally, the cubes sit tilted on a hexagonal pole. They are made up of concrete floors, concrete pillars and wooden framing. Inside, the houses are divided into three levels accessed via a narrow staircase. The lower level is a triangular area used as the living room. The middle level houses the sleeping and bathing area, and the highest level is a spare area used either as a second bedroom or another living area. Completing the tilted design, the walls and windows are all angled at 54.7 degrees, providing excellent views of the surrounding area. The only drawback - aside from claustrophobia is that despite a total area of 100 square meters, the angled structure means only a quarter of that space is actually usable.
Aside from the uniqueness of the asymmetrical design, the cubic houses are meant to represent an abstract forest. According to Blom, the triangular top of each individual house is supposed to represent an abstract tree, which, when connected with its neighbor, becomes a sea of trees in a yellow, manufactured forest.