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 Piet Blom

 

 

Piet Blom        


(b Amsterdam, 8 Feb 1934).


Dutch architect. He attended the Academie van Bouwkunst, Amsterdam, in the evenings from 1956 to 1959 and won the Prix de Rome in 1962. He became internationally known through his final examination project, ‘Dorpsgewijs bewonen van steden’ (‘Village-style living in towns’), presented at the CIAM congress in Otterlo in 1959. His ideas are related to those of Aldo van Eyck, a prominent member of Team Ten and a representative of Dutch structuralism. During the 1960s Blom was very active in the Provo protest movement, which denounced conventional society and increasing bureaucracy. Like van Eyck, Blom wanted to give form to the interplay between private and public life, between a single room and the building as a whole. By means of varied combinations of the same basic constructional unit, as in the De Bastille refectory building (1964–7) for the Technische Universiteit near Enschede, he strove to establish a visual relation between an individual space and the whole. In the ‘Academie Minerva’ building (1976–84) for the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Groningen, symmetry of diagonals was the governing principle. His best-known works are the residential district De Kasbah (1967–70) in Hengelo and extensions to Blaak (1978–84), Rotterdam, in both of which the distinction between architecture and urban planning was diminished. In the Rotterdam project he designed houses, shops and an academy building as one unit over an important trunk road, like a 20th-century Rialto Bridge. The houses comprise large hexagonal blocks that surmount the walkway on concrete stairways. Blom’s design is very craftsmanlike in its use of wood, concrete and brick, but he expanded the playfulness of his architecture by the bold use of colour.

 


Rotterdam’s Cube Houses are a must-see attraction.

 

 


Rotterdam’s Cube Houses are a must-see attraction.
Designed by Piet Blom, the complex is made up of 51 large cubes, and 38 of these are houses.

 
 

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