Tilted at a 55 degree angle Rotterdam’s “Cube Houses” (Kubuswoningen) seem to defy gravity.
Dreamed up by architect Piet Blom in the 1970s to help the city turn a downtown overpass into housing, this oblique housing was Blom’s attempt to defy the idea that “a building has to be recognizable as a house for it to qualify as housing.”
Blom perched each slanted cubic residence on a pillar to create individual “tree” houses and connected them all to form an urban “forest”.
Lilian raised her son Mitch in their cube home and while the square footage is small (some are just 240 square feet), the cubic footage is much larger. There are no straight exterior walls and opening or closing a window can be a battle with gravity.
Today, Lilian and Mitch run their home as a guesthouse, but they said living in the home meant keeping possessions to a minimum. “A lot of people bring a lot of stuff into their house, but then you lose the effect of the building because already it has it’s own vibes, or it’s own atmosphere.”
The Cube Houses are now one of the city’s top tourist attractions, and an Instagram favorite. One of the two extra-large “super cubes” is now a hostel.
Lilian and Mitch’s rental cube: