Not entirely something new but it was to me and my friend, visiting Kubuswoningen or the Cube Houses in Rotterdam was such a curious experience. It seems to me that "cubes" follow me throughout my life. One of my main achievements was The Cubes in NYC, I wear a Tiffany and Co. cube necklace designed by Frank Gehry given to me by my dad everyday and one of my chinchillas was named Cube. Initially, I wanted to stay in Kubuswoningen before I decided to book De Rotterdam. Some of the cubes have been transformed into hostels. Although it would have been a fun experience, I'm glad I stayed in De Rotterdam instead because of the uncomfortable feeling I had the entire time I was in the cubic space.
Kubuswoningen was designed by architect Piet Blom in the 70's. It was conceived to inspire and celebrate the design culture in Rotterdam which was not too abundant that time. I won't go through the objective details about Kubuswoningen but I will write my experience instead.
We were past the visiting hours at that time but the supervisor said that he could not shut the door in our faces and let us in. We climbed the skinny staircase from the ground level to the first level of the cube house. At first, our initial reaction was that it felt more spacious than we thought it would be, but that would be the only case in the first level. As we moved from level to level, the space felt more and more cramped. It was a little problematic for my 6'-6" friend because he had to bend down in some angled areas and could only stand upright near the core of the house. The first level was for the kitchen and living room. The middle floors were for working and sleeping. The highest tip of the cube was a miscellaneous space and was mainly used for a place to dry clothes as seen through the windows of neighboring cubes. The sun was unbearable at the tip of the cube and it is quite impossible to stay in that place for a long period of time. There was an unusual heat and light retention going on in there, but still picturesque.
Some of the cubes are actually for sale and it is not as expensive as I thought it would be. Within the guidelines of the listing, it is said that the architecture is not meant for comfort but the owner must be willing to be open and be creative to use such a quirky space. I could not agree more. Although I personally would not want to live there, it is a fun design and definitely a significant piece of architecture in the social, cultural and design movement during its time.