Cube Houses in Rotterdam

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Kubuswoningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Have you’ve been to Rotterdam? The Cube Houses is one of this city’s iconic landmark and pride of the Netherlands.

Imagine living in a square tilted Cube House with  walls and windows that are angled at 54.7 degrees, with only a  total area of around 100 square meters, but around a quarter of the space is unusable because of the walls that are under the angled ceilings.

And everytime you look up, it seems that the ceiling is just touching your head,and all you can see is corners? As I explore more of the rooms, I was thinking that this house needed special furnitures and the thought of living above a pedestrian bridge is overlwhelming!

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Great view because of the sloping windows.

Structurally, the cubes sit tilted on a hexagonal pole. They are made up of concrete floors, concrete pillars and wooden framing. Inside, the houses are divided into three levels accessed via a narrow staircase. The lower level is a triangular area used as the living room. The middle level houses the sleeping and bathing area, and the highest level is a spare area used either as a second bedroom or another living area.

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Kubuswoningen

This is my impression when I was inside of the model Cube House when I visited Rotterdam in Netherlands. Outside it was a striking structure, more of like an eye-candy, totally unique & brilliantly made.

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“Living as an Urban Roof ” – Piet Blom

This is the concept behind the “Kubuswoningen “or locally known as Cube Houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands designed by Dutch Architect Piet Blom.  It was  built in 1982 and was completed in 1984 which is a perfect example of “Structuralism”. He tilted the cube of a conventional house 45 degrees, and rested it upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. His design represents a village within a city, where each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.

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Cube Houses in Overblaak Street in Rotterdam,Netherlands.

There are 38 small Cube houses and so-called  2 super-cubes attached to each other. If you want to experience what is it like to live on top of a tree trunk,  ( in an Archetypical way) then make sure not to miss this when you visit Rotterdam.

Do you want to Visit the Cube Houses?

There are three ways to see the interior of a Cube House:

  • By making friends with a resident (not very practical, unless you get lucky with a “Looking for a Cube House buddy” ad on Craigslist).
  • By booking a bed at Stayokay Hostel Rotterdam, a Hostelling International youth hostel that opened in the Kubuswoningen in 2009.
  • By paying a small fee to visit the Kijk-Kubus, or “Show-Cube,” a model dwelling outfitted with custom furniture (designed by the museum director) and several exhibits about the project and its history.

The Kijk-Kubus or Show Cube is open daily from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. Follow the signs to the entrance, which is simply a doorway beneath one of the cubes. (Be prepared to climb a steep flight of Dutch-style steps; at the top of the stairs, you’ll enter the cube dwelling’s living room, where you can buy a ticket for a few euros.)

For more information, Click Here.

What is the most interesting piece of architecture you have seen lately? How was your experience?

 

 

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Liberation Tower of Kuwait

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Kuwait Liberation Tower

Have you’ve been to the Liberation Tower in Kuwait?

I have reached the viewing deck of the Liberation Tower in Kuwait in one minute, 150 sweet floors!  in swift seconds.That elevator ride was fast and surprisingly cool. Since I love Architecture and modern buildings, I made sure that climbing this tower was one of my bucket list while I live in Kuwait and today it came true.Admiring beautiful building is my favorite past time whenever I’m into a new place or rather part of exploring the local culture.Through visiting key places like the Liberation Tower then  have come discover new details and concepts behind it.

I searched for ways to go here but I’ve learned that it is not open for public and could only be viewed through arranged appointment with the Ministry of Communications (MOC) management. Luckily, the always amazing Aware Center have arranged a tour to this iconic landmark and fortunately I was able to go.Finally!!

For those of you who lives in Kuwait, this tower can be seen if you go Sharq area and Kuwait city. It dominates the skyline standing at 372 meters from ground level. The Kuwait Liberation Tower is one of the elements of the “Liberation Communications Tower Complex ” situated in the heart of Kuwait City.

This is the tallest structure in the Middle East and is considered the Fifth (5th) highest freestanding telecommunication tower in the world (status as of yr 2000).Compared to other famous constructions in the world, it is 72 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and nine meters shorter than Empire State  Building in New York. The view I’ve had when we visited the Olympic Tower in Munich was totally different from here, mainly in Kuwait it’s full of high rise buildings and less green.

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Kuwait skyline viewed from the viewing deck of Liberation Tower

The construction was completed in 2 distinctive phases separated by an interruption of more than 3 years, followed the treacherous occupation of Saddam Hussein in Kuwait.It was meant to be called “The Kuwait Telecommunications Tower “.  After Saddam Hussein’s forces were expelled from Kuwait last February 27,1991,the Tower was completed in 1993, and renamed “Kuwait Liberation Tower “depicting  special significance of the country’s freedom from Iraq.

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Rotating Viewdeck

Here are some useful facts I have learned from visiting this Tower. I find  everything interesting and contributed to the uniqueness of this structure.

1.The total cost of this project amounts to 50 million Kuwaiti Dinars (Approx. $ 165 US Million Dollars )

2.Construction Time (Total ) – Sixty seven months.

4. The Revolving Restaurant was done by  Glantre,UK.

5. The Instrumentation were done by Interfels,Germany.

6. Secalt from Belgium did the External Cleaning Systems.

7. Gleitbau from Austria were responsible for the Slip-forms.

8. The Structural steel work & steel mast erection were done by Centrozap from Poland.

 

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Liberation Tower

The structure is made using ceramic tiles on the façade from base to first mezzanine level. Three natural light shades render a geometric design from the base. The tower, including the telecommunications complex, is divided into three working areas – a public communications center; revolving observatory level, and a restaurant at 150 meters; and the adjacent plant and equipment structure.

There are a total of 18 elevators, and are amongst the fastest in the world. As for the revolving mezzanine, there are six office floors spanning 12000 sq/m above the revolving observatory level, that rise up and out within a section covered in Anodised aluminium, so as to withstand the extreme temperatures.

The tower includes a revolving restaurant and an observation platform, apart from radio and telecommunications offices.

Given the historical and monumental significance of this tower, visitors usually do not miss the opportunity to visit this destination during their travel to Kuwait.Visiting this Tower is a wonderful experience. The host welcomed us warmly with brief introduction and tour of the whole building. I had great views of the skyline of Kuwait when I’m on top of the tower.It is nice to view Kuwait from above, so different from the ground.

If you’re interested to tour the Liberation Tower, check out Aware Center’s scheduled events to find out more details. They have lots of amazing cultural events about Arabic culture that you might find interesting. You can also check out their website Here.

I just hoped that Kuwait would invest more on maintaining this type of monumental buildings. The time I visited, I noticed that there were some renovations going on. I think this tower is worth the pride of Kuwaitis since it really stands for a symbol. Kuwait has no nature to boast but If they continue to build buildings with adept planning, then this place will go further.

Do you think you would want to climb a tower like this?

How was your experience visiting some famous architecture in your country?

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