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Building Community

New Apartment Architecture

Michael Webb


The first major survey of contemporary apartment buildings that foster a sense of community while giving every resident an inspiring place to live


Building Community is an in-depth, wide-ranging survey of contemporary apartment buildings, not as raw canvases for interior decoration but as a building type of growing significance. An introduction presents the history of multiple-occupancy housing through its most innovative 20th-century exemplars, from the urbane blocks of Auguste Perret and Henri Sauvage in Paris, to the landscaped housing estates of Weimar Germany and the visionary schemes of Le Corbusier. The heart of the book features 39 recent or ongoing projects, designed by leading international studios and rising talents. Buildings range from social housing and micro apartments to urban villages, megastructures and innovative high-rises. Each project is considered for the way in which it enriches the lives of residents and the city, and is shown through drawings and photographs, taken from the street and within. The book also includes interviews with such contemporary masters of apartment design as Michael Maltzan, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Édouard François and Bjarke Ingels.

As our cities grow more crowded, it is critical that we produce creative buildings that enhance the lives of their inhabitants, their surroundings and the urban environment as a whole. Building Community offers dozens of proven successes to designers and apartment-dwellers.

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'In a world of risk-averse, profit-driven developers, creativity has taken a back seat. But Michael Webb celebrates the shining examples in which design has reached the next level'

'It’s fascinating to see these creative responses to the deceptively simple challenge of fitting a lot of people into a small space'
1843 (The Economist)

'The journey through the book is interesting and fact-heavy, providing new perspective on the walls that surround most people'
Book Witty

'With cities all over the world struggling to keep up with the demand for social and affordable housing, these inspiring buildings…showcase what good design can actually do for communities'
Culture Trip

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Further Details


Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 29.9 x 23.8 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 348

Publication date: 23 February 2017

ISBN: 9780500343302

About the Author

Michael Webb is a Los Angeles-based writer who has authored more than twenty books on architecture and design, most recently Architects' Houses, and Building Community: New Apartment Architecture, while contributing essays to many more. He is also a regular contributor to leading journals in the United States and Europe. Growing up in London, he was an editor at The Times and Country Life, before moving to the US. He was awarded an honorary membership in the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his services to French culture.