Chiara Del Core 14 jun 2021 Articles 1 comment

Tower building

In this case the development in height is greater and the building is characterized by apartments overlooking at least two fronts. Great importance is covered by vertical connections such as stairwells and elevators, which serve all floors of the building to give access to the individual apartments. Given the high population density, this residential type must comply with the safety requirements in terms of accessibility and fire prevention. For this reason, there is often an external safety staircase and the rules relating to the quotas of the premises must always be respected. Finally, the building must comply with specific hygienic-sanitary standards despite the fact that it is a solution aimed at maximizing the use of space in height.
To view and download various examples of tower buildings in dwg format click here

Balcony building

The element that most characterizes this type is the balcony that extends along the entire body of the building, fulfilling the function of distribution path to the individual real estate units. Depending on the type of apartment, the access balcony is present on all levels for simple accommodation, or on alternate floors if the houses are distributed on two (duplex) or three levels. This solution is naturally intended for multiple groups of tenants and the apartments are characterized by an organization of the internal environments aimed at ensuring the privacy of users. For this reason, on the front where the gallery is located, the service areas will be placed with openings at an adequate height to allow for confidentiality. The bedrooms will never overlook the common balcony. The length of the gallery can vary and in relation to this the staircase body is designed which can occupy different positions: at the head, between the lodgings or outside the passage. Depending on the characteristics of the gallery, which must always allow free access to at least two people, there will be one or more stairwells and a lift.

Example of a building with entrances to the apartments on a balcony

To view and download various examples of balcony houses in dwg format click here

Gallery building

This type of building represents an alternative to the balcony type as the collective entrance path to the houses is centrally located between two rows of apartments instead of next to the only one to be served. The galleries, which like the galleries have a distributive function, are inserted every three floors and serve a large number of accommodations; for this reason they are perfect when you need to accommodate many inhabitants.
See for example Le Corbusier's Housing Unit in Marseille

Block building

These are complexes of houses that develop around internal courtyards or stairwells and which, precisely because of this peculiarity, differ from buildings in line. Usually the housing slats are not located in front of each other but orthogonal, so as to create various conformations such as the C, L and U-shaped complexes.

To view many examples of aggregations between housing units click here


Born from the evolution of social needs and a new housing demand, these include student residences, residences for the elderly, co-housing and social housing. Collective buildings boast an added value compared to normal residential complexes: the presence of common spaces intended to host collective activities and additional services. In this way, the sizes of the apartments are somewhat sacrificed in favor of areas that can be used by all where the sharing of time and material goods develop sociality and collective well-being.

Example of Milanese Social Housing with a large indoor outdoor area - Social Housing Via Cenni, RPA Rossiprodi Associati - Milan 2013 - Render di Anders Berensson Architects
To view various examples of residences for the elderly click here

In conclusion, it is good to remember how every type of housing is born from specific needs linked to the time and place where it stands. The buildings are often an element capable of connoting the features of the city and of passing down the traditions and values typical of the territory in which they are located from generation to generation.

Over the years, the residential construction sector has undergone variations linked to specific constraints and economic needs, but some elements usually persist despite undergoing changes and new interpretations. For those who live in such buildings, it is important to know their characteristics and "types", keeping the sense of belonging alive and to this end a big contribution must be made by the correct design.

Cover image is licensed from: / Artist's: phelle.
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Articolo esaustivo che mi ha riportato agli anni della facoltà di Architettura di Firenze. Complimenti !

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