It is sometimes said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and that just may be a fitting statement for the city of Den Bosch, Netherlands. You can find that city by driving southeast from Amsterdam for about an hour. It is been around since the 12th century, has the largest Catholic Church in the Netherlands, and an art center devoted to a painter who was born there, Hieronymus Bosch.
According to Unusual Places, that little village is also where you will find 50 homes in a neighborhood that are shaped like golf balls.
The locals refer to the homes as bolwoningen, which is translated as “ball houses”. In 1968, the Dutch government was providing a grant for residential developments that were innovative. Dries Kreijkamp is a Dutch artist who built those homes in 1984, which was also when the grant was discontinued.
The concrete homes are not painted, and they appear somewhat industrial. The predecessor to these homes are much older than the 1980s since they are designed after African clay huts and Inuit igloos.
Uncube Magazine once interviewed Kreijkam, who explained: “The globe-shape is totally self-evident. It’s the most organic and natural shape possible.” He went on to talk about how that shape uses the smallest surface area possible, so you need less material to create it. He refers to it as “space-saving, very ecological, and nearly maintenance free.”
Each of the 50 homes sits on top of a cylinder that includes storage space, a front door, and a staircase that goes up into the ball. There is a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen, along with skylights and windows. Although the homes are only 592 ft.², the extra lighting gives the impression that they are larger.
Kreijkamp continued to work on innovating bolwoningen blueprints until he died in 2014. Variations on the original design began using a lightweight polyester and were designed to take advantage of wind and solar energy. The original bolwoningen in Den Bosch continue to be loved by those who live there. Even though the idea never gained mass appeal, the longevity of these homes speaks for itself.SKM: below-content placeholder