Café de Unie

Café de Unie was designed in 1925 by J.J.P. Oud. It is a small building situated between the historical residential units in Rotterdam. Without any regard to the traditional form of its neighbours, the architect created a new building that was a prime example of the De Stijl avant-garde movement in Holland. The elevations were divided in similar ways to that of abstract, modernist paintings and only primary colours were used.

During World War II Café de Unie was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1986 in a new location and houses a restaurant on the ground floor as well as a theatre.


Kubuswoningen was a controversial project designed by Piet Blom in 1984. It consisted of 38 houses and two large cubes connected together and placed on reinforced concrete columns. The area of each residential apartment was around 100 m2, but it could not be fully utilized because of the sloping angle of the walls. This was the reason why the project had to be later transformed into a hostel.


Kunstahal is a museum in Rotterdam designed by a famous Dutch architect and Pritzker Prize laureate – Rem Koolhaas. This is a unique institution because it does not have its own collections; instead it lives on organizing temporary events and exhibitions.

The interior is planned out around 3 spacious exhibition rooms linked by a system of ramps and slipways, which ensure smooth and easy communication for the public.

Shipping and Transport College

The Shipping and Transport College building was completed in 2005 and it is located near the port of Rotterdam. Its unusual form looks like a giant periscope or a stack of containers with a height of nearly 70 m. The complex includes lecture and teaching rooms, media library, workshops, cafeteria, gymnasium and a huge window with great views of the River Maas. The authors of this project are Neutelings Riedijk Architects.

Didden Village

Didden Village was the first built project in Rotterdam of a renowned Dutch architectural office – MVRDV. It is a very unusual and interesting example of an extension to an existing building.  The architects have added a new floor, which included bedrooms for the apartment below. To ensure maximum privacy for the tenants, each bedroom was located in an independent block, which had the shape of a small house. This way the terrace was transformed into a mini “village” with benches and alleys. In order to maintain consistency between the new structure and clearly distinguish it from the old building, all of it was covered with polyurethane in bright blue colour.


WOZOCO is another project by MVRDV. This is a residential building for elderly people located in Amsterdam and one of the most published housing projects of its times. Its unusual form is a result of urban policy and planning restrictions, which meant that all the 100 apartments could not fit into a linear building and had to be hanged from its northern elevation.

If you’re planning on visiting Holland yourself to check out these marvelous examples of contemporary architecture there are plenty of good deals on offer. You can find a luxury and affordable guest house, or consider a comfortable Bed and Breakfast. Many low cost late rooms available as well.