Although it might look like the set of a science fiction film, this neighborhood in the Netherlands was built by humans for humans. Dutch artist and sculptor Dries Kreijkamp designed this unusual apartment community, dubbed the Bolwoningen (“ball” or “bulb” homes). Built in 1984, the residential development is comprised of 50 of these futuristic spherical structures grouped together amid winding walkways and tall trees, alongside a scenic canal.
Kreijkamp initially designed the bulbous Bolwoningen in the 1970s, in response to a special Dutch subsidy for experimental housing projects that launched in 1968. The decidedly suburban neighborhood in Maaspoort in the city of Den Bosch (formally known as ‘s-Hertogenbosch) is home to this extraterrestrial cluster of apartment homes. Inside each golf-ball shaped home is a compact apartment dwelling with a uniquely otherworldly feel. The curved walls and round porthole windows give the illusion you’re living in a spaceship, which is a little ironic because Kreijkamp actually intended the globe-like structures to bring people closer to nature, with its vantage points from nearly every angle.
Each apartment home contains three floors, with bedrooms on the ground level and a bathroom hidden on the middle floor. The upper floor houses the main living room and compact kitchen, and round windows face outward in nearly every direction, offering unique views of the world outside (including the other globe-shaped apartments, which are positioned somewhat close together). At the top floor, each home has a diameter of just 18 feet (5.5 meters), making for a cozy living space. Across the street, another subdivision is filled with traditional-style homes, highlighting the rarity of the globe-shaped apartment community.
Kreijkamp passed away in 2014, but the continued fascination with what his perhaps his greatest contribution to architecture lives on. The Bolwoningen apartment community is still in good condition some 30 years after its completion, and has, as far as we can tell, been continuously occupied from the start and will continue to provide funky dwelling space for years to come.