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Halfway housing: A renovation of a Modernist Classic.

They became instantly iconic when Dutch architect Piet Blom's Cube Houses were completed in Rotterdam in 1984. With 38 small cubes and two so called super-cubes, they have become a much loved feature of the city, and have been in constant occupation since completion.

Recently, the buildings have enjoyed a top to bottom renovation and are once again are looking splendid.

The unusual form of the house arose as a way to achieve a high density with a smaller footprint. Test versions of the houses were built in 1974 and 1977 before the main scheme was completed in 1984. The houses have always attracted a lot of attention in the city. The architect apparently considered them a forest of “trees” lining the streetscape.

Recently some of the housing has been converted to “halfway housing” for newly released prisoners. Fortunately, you do not have to go to jail to see inside them, as one is run by its owner as a display home for architectural tourists.

Christopher C. Hill.

 

Gratitude to The Modern House Blog.

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