At the end of World War II, Rotterdam, like many European cities, was in ruins. But the city rebuilt itself admirably and now prides itself on its cutting-edge architecture.
One example of unique Rotterdam architecture is the Kubuswoningen, or Cube Houses (also called Tree Houses). Built by Dutch architect Piet Blom in the 1980s, they’re meant to represent a village of trees. There are 38 of these “tree” houses, each in the shape of a cube. Three sides of the cube are facing up, and three are facing down. Each house contains three floors (not including the ground-floor entrance). The first floor has a kitchen and living room; the second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom; and there’s an open space on the third floor that can be used for an office or another bedroom. The walls and windows are at a 54.7 degree angle. Each structure has around 1000 square feet of space, but about 25% of that can’t be used because of the angled walls and ceilings.
The housing complex contains a Kijk-Kubus (Show-Cube), which is like a mini-museum or open house. We paid our three Euros and explored the Show Cube for a few minutes. It was surprisingly spacious and felt larger than the duplex we had in Seattle!
Pretty cool, right?
If you’re interested in seeing more, here’s a You Tube video that gives a tour of the Show House.