Last edited 27 Oct 2020

Main author

Michael Brooks

Cube Houses

See the Unusual building design of the week series here.


The Cube (or Cubic) Houses are a series of unusual house design located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. They were conceived and constructed in the 1970s by architect Piet Blom as a response to the request from town planners for housing to be built on top of a pedestrian bridge. Blom had already built similar houses in the town of Helmand and so chose to repeat the design in Rotterdam.

Blom intended that the triangular peak of each of house would represent the top of a tree, with the asymmetrical design of the 40 cubic houses connected together representing an abstract forest.

The cubes comprise concrete floors and pillars and wooden framing, and sit tilted on a hexagonal base. The interior of the houses are divided into three levels accessed by a narrow staircase.

The walls and windows are angled at 54.7 degrees which provides good views of the surrounding area. However, the houses have been criticised for their lack of available space as, despite a total area of 100 sq. m, the angled structure means that only 25 sq. m is actually usable.


--Michael Brooks

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again