What makes these structures found in the city of Den Bosch, a typical Dutch suburb, is their shape. Though they have become tourist attraction, they are primarily meant for human residence. When they were built, they were considered to be futuristic and even after four decades they remain futuristic. Notwithstanding their lack of popularity among the administration do you know why they are shaped like that?
Dries Kreijkamp is the brain behind the spherical homes. He was a sculptor, designer, musician and architect. He was greatly inspired by the igloos built by the Eskimos. According to him we are born on this earth the shape of which is round. He believed that globe shape is very natural, organic and real. He also cited the example of mud huts built in some parts of Africa. He felt that the globe combines the biggest possible volume with the smallest possible surface area, so you need minimum material for it. It’s space saving, very ecological and nearly maintenance-free.
However, when Kreijkamp made public his design, there were not many takers for the same and he found it very difficult to convince the people. However, finally houses were built under special Dutch subsidy for experimental housing projects.
Due to building regulations and intervention from the local housing corporation, Kreijkamp had to make several changes in his original plans. The biggest compromise besides the stalks was the materials that were used: ideally, the globes should have been made out of polyester, making them extremely light-weight. But due to the local fire regulations they were made up of two cement concrete layers with glass-fibre reinforcement and rockwool insulation.
Kreijkamp expected flood of enquiries post the experimental housing projects which never came. In fact, Den Bosch project was beginning and was also end of the experiment. In the middle of the 1990s, the housing corporation even considered demolishing the houses, because there were complaints about cracks and leakages, and one of the houses was sinking. However, proper repairs saved the houses and Dries Kreijkamp passed away in 2014 with his dreams unfulfilled.