Piet Blom's Cube Houses (Photo: VPzone)

Architect Piet Blom

Piet Blom (1934-1999) was a key figure in the Structuralism movement in architecture. One of his best-known creations is a complex of 38 Cube Houses (kubuswoningen) in Rotterdam. For more in-depth coverage of Blom's life and work read Issue 49 of Dutch the magazine…

Upon approaching one of the many staircases and ramps leading up to the Cube Houses, displayed on a bright yellow plaque, is a quote from the architect himself: “Hé wat is dit? Is dit nou een paleis, of is dit een kermis?” (Hey, what’s this? Is this a palace or a funfair?).

Each dwelling is perched on a hexagon pillar at a forty-five-degree angle and measures approximately 1076 square feet spread over three floors. There are no vertical walls, and angled windows afford unique views of the public space below and interestingly enough, the sky above. The central column of the cube serves as the main stairwell channel.

Blom's legacy and avant-garde influence changed Rotterdam’s urban landscape, made a lasting impression on the next wave of up-and-coming Dutch architects and helped shape the future direction of architecture in The Netherlands. 

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Original article by: Andrew Herygers