If you are an architect or a person obsessed with cityscapes (like me), you’ll love Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a relatively new city, despite being old. Why do I say that? Rotterdam was badly bombed and destroyed by the Germans during WW2, so most of the cityscape is new. Hence, you will encounter more unusual architecture funky buildings in Rotterdam than other cities of the Netherlands. This is the famous iconic cube houses in Rotterdam.
The orange shows buildings built before 1940, blue built after 1940. By josdirksen. You can only see how much the Germans destroyed the city.
Fun fact: every time a German friend meets a Dutch friend in Rotterdam, we’ll show the German the city and go “see, this is all your fault”.
Cubed Architecture: Box Houses in Rotterdam
My favourite funky building in Rotterdam is the cube houses. They are called Kubuswoningen in Dutch. It is one of the most iconic attraction in the city.
The story behind the architecture design is to resemble an abstract forest. Each angled roof is treetop, huddled together like a forest’s canopy. The cubed houses form a circle and if you stand in the middle and look up, it’s like looking up in a forest. The houses also use a lot of wood materials, like forests.
Who Lives There
Many of them are rented by students. You can fit 4 students into each cube home. That’s because rental is super expensive and it’s affordable to share a cube with more people.
The structure inside is rather slanted. The walls and windows are tilted at a 54.7 degrees angle. And I lost my balance a few times because I couldn’t find the center of gravity! I felt like I was always at an angle and the stairs made me dizzy.
So is it expensive?
Frankly they are roughly the average price for homes in Rotterdam. That’s because the shape is funky and many of the regular furniture do not fit into the place. The top floor is also not suitable for the bedroom because of its shape.
What is it like inside?
It has strangle angles and the space inside is small and compact. That means, you cannot get your items from IKEA and fit them in. Most furniture have to be customised due to the angles and shape.
How can I stay in the Cube Houses?
If you are in Rotterdam for a holiday, you can check out the hostel.
The space is quite small and odd in shape. It might not be for everyone, but if you are in Rotterdam for a few days and want to experience something unusual, please go for it! It’s a weird little home and an unforgettable experience.
Alternatively, you can check out the Show Cube Museum (Kijk-Kubus) to see what it looks like inside.
Other than the Cubed Homes, walk across the square to Rotterdam’s Market Hall, another funky and cool architecture stop in Rotterdam!
Ps: if you have some time, I suggest that you spend a day cycling around Rotterdam and exploring the city! Check out the old buildings and the beautiful huge park too.
More about The Netherlands
- 7 Facts about The Netherlands
- 10 Favourite Cities in The Netherlands
- (Cheap and Good) Dutch Food
- 5 Local Dutch Tips & Tricks
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.