public spaces in apartment buildings

martin jurin

what do you think apartment buildings should be like. should we only design apartments or should there also be public spaces for people living there..(and what should those public spaces be?)
my standpoint is that building should be like a small city with apartments, public 'squares', streets=hall ways... in croatia there is a new government program for building social apartment buildings.. many people find it interesting because young architects can enter the competitions and they often win.. but those buildings are nothing more than copies of old communist buildings, i.e. vertical communication with flats organized around it.. there are no places for people to meet, hang out, have fun.. just a lot of flats.. i find that depressing..

Nov 22, 06 6:44 pm

a lot of times when they put in places to hang out - even if they are intentionally in places where people will supposedly randomly run into each other - they end up always being sadly empty

Nov 22, 06 11:47 pm

or filled with shady characters...

I recall living in an apartment complex where we had a nice social gathering area with an outdoor patio area, an indoor common kitchen, dining and living area and a great indoor pool and sauna. Most of the time, the area was filled with folks that did not reside at the complex. Typically what would happen is one tenant would accidentally let in one neighbor and that intruder would invite a few folks, and those folks would invite other intruders – within a short period of time, we'd have 50 strangers that didn't belong there! Wouldn't have minded it so much if these trespassers weren't shady characters or folks looking to stir up trouble or simply there to steal the pool towels! Unfortunately, management wasn't much help in trying to resolve the problem.

I really do like the idea of public 'squares' and/or streets=hall way gathering spaces. I like having a social gathering space; but to be quite honest, most of the complexes I've lived in, folks didn't care to interact with each other – they kind of kept to themselves. If they were socialites, they would hang out in each others apartments or go to a bar…

Nov 23, 06 1:00 am

isn't that what corb did in his apartment blocks?

Nov 23, 06 7:33 am

It also depends on who the housing is for... Senior housing sees much sucess of the public gathering spaces, and obviously student housing.

The building lobby, or entry provides an oppertunity to create pause, and perhaps gathering, but as katze and robust stated, common space within the residential floors often is often awkward. - unless you can introduce additional program to activate these spaces. such as a bar, restaurant, gallery, etc - but then you are inviting the public and it defeats the purpose of gathering for the residents only. or does it?

Nov 23, 06 7:52 am
martin jurin

corb did it on the roof, i am talking about lots of small or medium spaces all around the building.. something like a gothic mediterranean town: narrow streets and small squares.. (just a metaphor)

Nov 23, 06 8:58 am

Barcelona, near the Barri Gothic. this entire area is experiencing "urban sponging." what was once a series of hyper-dense housing blocks and tight alleys is being transformed. the street level now has numerous pockets of public space, some associated with a particular bldg or group of bldgs...

Nov 23, 06 1:37 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: