The Pole (trunk)

The surface of the pole has the shape of a hexagon. The pole is build up of 3 concrete pillars with concrete stone walls in between. The pole contains 2 levels. A storage-room (for bicycles etc.) is situated at promenade-level, accessible through its own door (original version). The staircase alongside leads to the entrance (2nd level). In Rotterdam there are 2 more variants. One variant has the staircase built in the pole. The other version has a communal staircase which ends at a platform that gives access to 3 front-doors. The storage-spaces of these houses are located elsewhere in the complex, because the spaces in the poles underneath are a part of the commercial space there. As a matter of fact there is another version with a larger pole (4 levels), located at both ends of the bridge. Obviously these poles contain more storage space (and stairs).

The Cube (crown)

The cube looks as if it is tilted, seemingly balancing on it’s pole, so that 3 sides are facing the ground and the other 3 are facing the sky. The angle between the floors and walls is not 45 degrees as one expects but 53,5 degrees (or it’s complementary), so that the cube is slightly pushed in. The reinforced concrete floors and pillars were made on the spot. The cube consists out of a wooden skeleton, which is mounted to the edges of the floors. Both the outside as the inside of the skeleton are covered with screwed 18mm cement/fibre-board (cem-panel) with rock-wool for insulation in between. All windows in the cube contain double glassed panes and wire-glass where necessary (fire precaution). The insulation value of a cube is quite high. With shut windows one hears almost no traffic-noise and the house can be heated easily (district heating).

The cube contains 3 floors. The lower floor is the living space. It’s surface has the shape of a triangle. One of the three corners accommodates the kitchen and dinner-table, an other corner toilet, storage cupboard and space which can be used for hobby, computer or TV. Architect Piet Blom called this level “street-house” because of the downwards directed windows and the visual connection with what is happening at street-level. The second floor, which he called “sky-house”, is directed upwards. This level has a more intimate character and accommodates 2 bedrooms, bathroom (with tub/shower) and a small hall. A platform (storage underneath) and staircase give access to the top floor (Blom’s tabernacle), which is the top of the cube, in fact a three-sided pyramid with 18 windows and 3 hatches all around which give a broad view on the surroundings. This loft can be used as bedroom, children’s room or sun-lounge, depending on the inhabitant’s needs. All floors are connected by hard-wooden (steep) staircases.


During 1997/98 all roofs have been renovated. The original roofing (bitumen/shingles) had proven not to be ideal. A completely new zinc roofing was mounted over the old roofing. All gutters and junctions were remade in zinc. The 3 hatches in the top were replaced by Velux flap-windows. A white polyester roof-cap was mounted over the cube-top. Architect Piet Blom originally designed the cube-houses with a white top, but the constructor dropped this idea at the time after some experiments. The escape-doors were replaced by a lighter version. The lower faces of the cubes were repainted. During 2015 the houses have been repainted again. Glass and kit in some upper windows have been replaced.

Anno 2000/2001 the promenade (Overblaak) has been given a face-lift (stairs, paving stones and public lighting were renewed) The inhabitants try to give the promenade a more enjoyable and habitable atmosphere by placing lots of pots and plants (since 2001). During 2017 the municipality contributed (one-off) to pots and plants around the lighting-poles. The Blaakse Bos Foundation as well as (recently) the association of owners contribute yearly.

renovatieoverblaak1  renovatieoverblaak2