Competition: win a book documenting the evolution of the modern apartment

Dezeen is giving away five copies of Building Community: New Apartment Architecture by Michael Webb, which charts the growth of terraced towers, social housing, luxury high-rises and other contemporary apartment buildings.

The book highlights innovative apartment designs from around the world. It looks to buildings that have enhanced the lives of their inhabitants, surroundings and urban environment, and asks how we can learn from them.

Six-storey blocks are stacked in twos, threes and fours in Ole Scheeren’s 24-storey village The Interlace in Singapore. Photograph by Iwan Baan

“Building Community is the major first survey in years to explore contemporary apartments not as canvases for interior decoration but as a building type of growing significance,” said Webb.

“There’s an urgent need to build more and better apartments: to relieve the shortage of affordable housing in major cities, to use scarce land more economically, to save the energy wasted on long distance commutes and to revitalise urban centres.”

The book includes projects such as Ole Scheeren’s Interlace in Singapore, which was named World Building of the Year in 2015. The structure was conceived as an antithesis to the standard tower block and consists of a number of apartment blocks stacked diagonally, one on top of another.

Building Community New Apartment Architecture
MAD’s Absolute towers in Canada were initially dubbed “the Marilyn Monroe towers” by local residents in reference to their shapely bodies. Photograph by Iwan Baan

Also featured is a pair of curvaceous skyscrapers by MAD that tower over a growing city in Canada. The architects wanted to create a very simple, natural form – not something that alluded to ideas of money or power, typical of most skyscrapers.

Building Community New Apartment Architecture
Bjarke Ingels Group’s 8 House is so named because of its angular figure-of-eight design. Photograph by Iwan Baan

The book also looks at housing developments like BIG’s 8 House in Copenhagen which contains a mix of housing, shops, offices and childcare facilities. The complex is connected by sloping, elevated walkways that stretch down to a central courtyard with the aim of encouraging social interaction between residents.

Building Community New Apartment Architecture
Sky Habitat by Safdie Architects in Singapore also includes a 50-metre-long swimming pool, a children’s play area, barbecue pits, karaoke and event rooms, and a gym. Photograph by Edward Hendricks

Moshe Safdie’s Singapore Sky Habit is another featured project that employs aerial walkways to promote social interaction. The structure aims to bring landscape into the air, with private terraces overlooking the lush greenery below and communal garden bridges with benches and planting.

Webb was one of the founding members of avant-garde architectural group Archigram in the 1960s, which sought to shake up British architecture. He has taught and written extensively about architecture and design and is a regular contributor to leading journals in both Europe and the US.

Building Community: New Apartment Architecture by Michael Webb is published by Thames & Hudson and available to purchase online for £40.

Competition closes June 2017. Winners will be selected at random and notified by email, and their names will be published at the top of this page.

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