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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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'Ambitious in scope and geographical reference'
Architectural Review

'A well-judged book, useful, interesting and attractive'
World of Interiors

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

'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'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 30.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 348

Publication date: 19 August 2021

ISBN: 9780500296394

Contents List

Introduction: Evolution of a Typology
1. Urban Villages
2. Lorcan O’Herlihy: Reaching Out
3. Building Blocks
4. Bjarke Ingels: Exploiting Irregularity
5. Promoting Sociability
6. Michael Maltzan: Housing for All
7. Spirit of Place
8. Stanley Saitowitz: Rigorous Strategies
9. Reaching Skyward
10. Edouard François: Green Towers
11. Looking Ahead

About the Author

Michael Webb has written more than twenty books on architecture and design, and is a regular contributor to leading journals in the US and Europe. He lives in a classic Richard Neutra apartment in Los Angeles.