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.
Each building is elevated on a cylindrical socket. By entering the front door, you find a small storage area and a stairway which leads into the sphere on top. The globe contains a bedroom, a bathroom, and a toilet. Furthermore, the sphere provides a living area and a kitchen. All the rooms are located inside this three-story building and are interconnected with one another through a spiral staircase.
Six round windows allow plenty of daylight to illuminate the areas. Kreijkamp’s inspiration for using a spherical design for his buildings came from his belief that the globe-shape is the most organic shape possible. As he analyzed architectural styles of traditional cultures, he became fascinated by round clay huts of African tribes who build and igloos of the Eskimos. Kreijkamp designed the ball houses by making multiple uses of every square meter of space. Therefore inhabitants don’t feel narrowed, although each bulb apartment only offers a living space that measures 55 square meters.