Cities around the world are growing at unprecedented speed. From Los Angeles to Shanghai, an ever greater proportion of people live in apartments, enjoying the benefits of urban density, superior services, public transportation, and easy access to the city center and countryside. Unfortunately, many apartment buildings lack quality and character, or are ill-suited to today’s needs and lifestyles.
This is the first survey in many years to explore contemporary apartments not as raw canvases for interior decoration but as a building type of growing significance. An introduction provides the history of multiple-occupancy housing through its most innovative twentieth-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 book features thirty-eight recent and ongoing projects, designed by leading international studios and rising talents. Buildings range from social housing and micro apartments to “vertical villages,” megastructures, and luxury high-rises. Each project is illustrated by interior and exterior drawings and photographs. The movement for better apartment living is contextualized in interviews with contemporary masters of apartment design including Michael Maltzan, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Édouard François, and Bjarke Ingels.
Michael Webb is a Los Angeles–based writer who has authored more than twenty books on architecture and design, most recently Modernist Paradise: Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection, and Venice, CA: Art + Architecture in a Maverick Community, 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 wrote for The Times and Country Life before moving to the US to direct film programs for the American Film Institute and curate a Smithsonian exhibition, Hollywood: Legend and Reality, which traveled to major American cities and Tokyo.