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An apartment (
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
), or flat (
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
,
Indian English Indian English (IE) is a class of varieties of the English language spoken in India, and among the Indian diaspora elsewhere in the world. English is used by the Indian government for some communication as a supplement to Hindi, the countr ...
), is a self-contained
housing unitA housing unit, or dwelling unit, (at later mention often abbreviated to ''unit'') is a structure or the part of a structure or the space that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or more people who maintain a common househol ...
(a type of residential
real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more general ...
) that occupies only part of a building, generally on a single story. There are many names for these overall buildings, see below. The
housing tenure Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid by the occupant to a landlord, and owner-occupancy, where the occupan ...
of apartments also varies considerably, from large-scale
public housing#REDIRECT Public housing#REDIRECT Public housing {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, to
owner occupancy Owner-occupancy or home-ownership is a form of housing tenure in which a person, called the owner-occupier, owner-occupant, or home owner, owns the home in which they live. The home can be a house, such as a single-family house, an apartment, condo ...
within what is legally a
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
(
strata title Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The word "strata" refers to apartments being on different levels. Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in the state o ...
or
commonhold Commonhold is a system of property ownership in England and Wales. It involves the indefinite freehold tenure of part of a multi-occupancy building (typically a flat) with shared ownership of and responsibility for common areas and services. It has ...
), to tenants renting from a private landlord (see
leasehold estate A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. Although a tenant does hold rights to real property, a lea ...
).


Terminology


"Flat" vs "apartment"

Both words refer to a self-contained residential unit with its own front door, kitchen, toilet, and
bathroom A typical bathroom in a restaurant. A bathroom or washroom is a room, typically in a home or other residential building, that contains either a bathtub or a shower (or both). The inclusion of a wash basin is common. In some parts of the world, a ...
. In some parts of the world, the word ''apartment'' refers to a purpose-built unit in a building, whereas the word ''flat'' means a converted unit in an older building, usually a big house. In other places the terms are interchangeable. The term ''apartment'' is favored in North America (although in some cities ''flat'' is used for a unit which is part of a house containing two or three units, typically one to a floor). In the UK, the term ''apartment'' is more usual in professional
real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more general ...
and
architectural upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''architect ...
circles where otherwise the term ''flat'' is used commonly, but not exclusively, for an apartment on a single level (hence a 'flat' apartment). In some countries, the word "
unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in a theatrical presentation Music * ''Unit'' (album ...
" is a more general term referring to both apartments and rental business suites. The word 'unit' is generally used only in the context of a specific building; e.g., "This building has three units" or "I'm going to rent a unit in this building", but not "I'm going to rent a unit somewhere". Some buildings can be characterized as 'mixed-use buildings', meaning part of the building is for commercial, business, or office use, usually on the first floor or first couple of floors, and one or more apartments are found in the rest of the building, usually on the upper floors.


By housing tenure

(
Condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
,
public housing#REDIRECT Public housing#REDIRECT Public housing {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
,
owner-occupancy Owner-occupancy or home-ownership is a form of housing tenure in which a person, called the owner-occupier, owner-occupant, or home owner, owns the home in which they live. The home can be a house, such as a single-family house, an apartment, condo ...
, etc.) Tenement law refers to the
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society aroun ...
basis of permanent property such as land or rents. It may be found combined as in "
Messuage In law, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of real property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien. A typical conveyancing transaction has two major phases: the exchange of contracts (w ...
or Tenement" to encompass all the land, buildings and other assets of a property. In the United States, some apartment-dwellers own their units, either as a
housing cooperative 325px, 999 N. Lake Shore Drive, a co-op owned residential building in Chicago, Illinois ">Illinois.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Chicago, Illinois">Chicago, Illinois A housing cooperative or a housing co-op, ...
, in which the residents own shares of a corporation that owns the building or development; or in a
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
, whose residents own their apartments and share ownership of the public spaces. Most apartments are in buildings designed for the purpose, but large older
house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure of wood, masonry, concrete or other material, outfitted with plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air con ...

house
s are sometimes divided into apartments. The word ''apartment'' denotes a residential unit or section in a building. In some locations, particularly the United States, the word connotes a rental unit owned by the building owner, and is not typically used for a condominium. In England and Wales, some flat owners own shares in the company that owns the
freehold Freehold may refer to: In real estate *Freehold (law), the tenure of property in fee simple *Customary freehold, a form of feudal tenure of land in England *Parson's freehold, where a Church of England rector or vicar of holds title to benefice pr ...
of the building as well as holding the flat under a lease. This arrangement is commonly known as a "share of freehold" flat. The freehold company has the right to collect annual ground rents from each of the flat owners in the building. The freeholder can also develop or sell the building, subject to the usual planning and restrictions that might apply. This situation does not happen in Scotland, where long leasehold of residential property was formerly unusual, and is now impossible.


By size of the unit

Bachelor apartment, one-
bedroom A bedroom is a room situated within a residential or accommodation unit characterised by its usage for sleeping. A typical western bedroom contains as bedroom furniture one or two beds (ranging from a crib for an infant, a single or twin bed for ...
, etc.; see below.


By size of the building

Apartment buildings are multi-story buildings where three or more residences are contained within one structure. Such a building may be called an ''apartment building'', ''apartment complex'', ''flat complex'', ''block of flats'', ''tower block'', ''high-rise'' or, occasionally, ''mansion block'' (in British English), especially if it consists of many apartments for rent. A high-rise apartment building is commonly referred to as a ''residential tower'', ''apartment tower'', or ''block of flats'' in Australia. A
high-rise building '' high-rise building in Kalasatama, Helsinki A high-rise building is a tall building, as opposed to a low-rise building and is defined differently in terms of height depending on the jurisdiction. It is used as a residential, office building, ...
is defined by its height differently in various
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''juris'' 'law' + ''dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue (its ). In federations like the United St ...
s. It may be only residential, in which case it might also be called a tower block, or it might include other functions such as hotels, offices, or shops. There is no clear difference between a tower block and a
skyscraper A skyscraper is a large continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 metres or 150 metres in height, though there is no universally accepted definition. Historically, t ...
, although a building with fifty or more stories is generally considered a skyscraper. High-rise buildings became possible with the invention of the
elevator An elevator (North American English) or lift (Commonwealth English) is a type of cable-assisted, roller-track assisted, or hydraulic cylinder-assisted machine that vertically transports people or freight between floors, levels, or decks of a ...
(lift) and cheaper, more abundant building materials. Their
structural system The term structural system or structural frame in structural engineering refers to the load-resisting sub-system of a building or object. The structural system transfers loads through interconnected elements or members. Commonly used structures can ...
usually is made of
reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete (RC), also called reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low tensile strength and ductility are compensated for by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength ...
and
steel Steel is an alloy of iron with typically a few tenths of a percent of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resis ...
. A
low-rise building Typical German Fachwerkhäuser in the Hanseatic Harbour of 270x270px A_low-rise_is_a_building_that_is_only_a_few_stories_tall_or_any_building_that_is_shorter_than_a_high-rise.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Germany" ...
and mid-rise buildings have fewer storeys, but the limits are not always clear.
Emporis Emporis GmbH is a real estate data mining company with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. The company collects and publishes data and photographs of buildings worldwide. Emporis offers a variety of information on its public database, Emporis.com. ...
defines a low-rise as "an enclosed structure below 35 metres 15 feetwhich is divided into regular floor levels." The city of
Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anchor of the Golden ...
defines a mid-rise as a building between 4 and 12 stories.


By country

In
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
, the distinction between rental apartments and
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
s is that while rental buildings are owned by a single entity and rented out to many, condominiums are owned individually, while their owners still pay a monthly or yearly fee for building upkeep. Condominiums are often leased by their owner as rental apartments. A third alternative, the cooperative apartment building (or "co-op"), acts as a corporation with all of the tenants as shareholders of the building. Tenants in cooperative buildings do not own their apartment, but instead own a proportional number of shares of the entire cooperative. As in condominiums, cooperators pay a monthly fee for building upkeep. Co-ops are common in cities such as New York, and have gained some popularity in other larger urban areas in the U.S. In
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
the usual word is "flat", but ''apartment'' is used by property developers to denote expensive 'flats' in exclusive and expensive residential areas in, for example, parts of London such as
Belgravia Belgravia () is an affluent district in Central London, covering parts of the areas of both the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Belgravia was known as the 'Five Fields' during the Tudor Period, and became a ...
and
Hampstead Hampstead () is an area in North West London, England. Lying northwest of Charing Cross, it extends from the A5 road (Roman Watling Street) to Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland. The area forms the northwest part of the London ...
. In Scotland, it is called a block of flats or, if it is a traditional sandstone building, a ''
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access, on the British Isles notably common in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, in Edinburgh, tenem ...
'', a term which has a negative connotation elsewhere. In India, the word flat is used to refer to multi-storey dwellings that have lifts.
Australian English Australian English (AusE,AusEng, AuE, AuEng, en-AU) is the set of varieties of the English language native to Australia. Australian English is the country's national and ''de facto'' common language. English is the first language of the major ...
and
New Zealand English New Zealand English (NZE) is the variant of the English language spoken and written by most English-speaking New Zealanders. Its language code in ISO and Internet standards is en-NZ. English is the first language of the majority of the popul ...
traditionally used the term ''flat'' (although it also applies to any rental property), and more recently also use the terms ''unit'' or ''apartment''. In Australia, a 'unit' refers to flats, apartments or even
semi-detached A semi-detached house (often abbreviated to semi) is a single family duplex dwelling house that shares one common wall with the next house. The name distinguishes this style of house from detached houses, with no shared walls, and terraced houses, ...
houses. In Australia, the terms "unit", "flat" and "apartment" are largely used interchangeably. Newer high-rise buildings are more often marketed as "apartments", as the term "flats" carries colloquial connotations. The term condominium or condo is rarely used in Australia despite attempts by developers to market it. In
South African English South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic ''*sunþaz'' ("south" ...
, an apartment is usually a single level rental area that is a part of a larger building and can be entered from inside the building through a separate door leading off either a wind tunnel or entrance hall/lobby that is shared with other occupants of the building. In
Malaysian English Malaysian English (MyE), formally known as Malaysian Standard English (MySE) (similar and related to British English), is a form of English used and spoken in Malaysia. While Malaysian English can encompass a range of English spoken in Malaysia, ...
, ''flat'' often denotes a housing block of two rooms with walk-up, no lift, without facilities, typically five storeys tall, and with outdoor parking space, while ''apartment'' is more generic and may also include luxury condominiums. In Japanese English
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word as adopted from one language (the donor language) and incorporated into another language without translation. This is in contrast to cognates, which are words in two or more languages that are simi ...
s (''
Wasei-eigo are Japanese-language expressions based on English words, or parts of word combinations, that do not exist in standard English or whose meanings differ from the words from which they were derived. Linguistics classifies them as pseudo-loanwords o ...
''), the term ''apartment'' (''apaato'') is used for lower-income housing and ''mansion'' (''manshon'') is used for high-end apartments; but both terms refer to what English-speakers regard as an apartment. This use of the term ''mansion'' has a parallel with
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
's ''mansion block'', a term denoting prestigious apartment buildings from the Victorian and
Edwardian#REDIRECT Edwardian era#REDIRECT Edwardian era {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, which usually feature an ornate facade and large, high-ceilinged flats with period features. '' Danchi'' is the
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan, an island country in East Asia * Japanese language, spoken mainly in Japan * Japanese people, the ethnic group that identifies with Japan through culture or ancestry ** Japanese diaspora ...

Japanese
word for a large cluster of apartment buildings of a particular style and design, typically built as
public housing#REDIRECT Public housing#REDIRECT Public housing {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
by government authorities. See
Housing in Japan '' building provided by the government of Tokyo , Tokyo Housing in Japan includes modern and traditional styles. Two patterns of residences are predominant in contemporary Japan: the single-family detached house and the multiple-unit building, ...
.


Types and characteristics


Studio apartment

The smallest self-contained apartments are referred to as studio, efficiency or bachelor apartments in the US and Canada, or studio flat in the UK. These units usually consist of a large single main room which acts as the living room, dining room and bedroom combined and usually also includes kitchen facilities, with a separate bathroom. In Korea, the term "one room" (''wonroom'') refers to a studio apartment. A
bedsit A bedsit, bedsitter, or bed-sitting room is a form of accommodation common in some parts of the United Kingdom which consists of a single room per occupant with all occupants typically sharing a bathroom. Bedsits are included in a legal category o ...
is a UK variant on single room accommodation: a bed-sitting room, probably without cooking facilities, with a shared bathroom. A bedsit is not self-contained and so is not an apartment or flat as this article uses the terms; it forms part of what the UK government calls a
House in multiple occupation A house in multiple occupation (HMO), or a house of multiple occupancy, is a British English term which refers to residential properties where ‘common areas’ exist and are shared by more than one household. Most HMOs have been subdivided from l ...
.


Garden apartment (US)

Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries. In 1831, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1843, after ...
defines a garden apartment in
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the most influential form of ...
as "a multiple-unit low-rise dwelling having considerable lawn or garden space" The apartment buildings are often arranged around courtyards that are open at one end. Such a garden apartment shares some characteristics of a
townhouse A townhouse, townhome, town house, or town home, is a type of terraced housing. A modern townhouse is often one with a small footprint on multiple floors. In a different British usage, the term originally referred to any type of city residence (n ...
: each apartment has its own building entrance, or shares that entrance via a staircase and lobby that adjoins other units immediately above and/or below it. Unlike a townhouse, each apartment occupies only one level. Such garden apartment buildings are almost never more than three stories high, since they typically lack
elevator An elevator (North American English) or lift (Commonwealth English) is a type of cable-assisted, roller-track assisted, or hydraulic cylinder-assisted machine that vertically transports people or freight between floors, levels, or decks of a ...
s. However, the first "garden apartment" buildings in New York, USA, built in the early 1900s, were constructed five stories high. Some garden apartment buildings place a one-car garage under each apartment. The interior grounds are often landscaped.


Garden flat (UK)

The ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
'' defines the use of "garden flat" in
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively use ...
as "a basement or ground-floor flat with a view of and access to a garden or lawn", although its citations acknowledge that the reference to a garden may be illusory. "Garden flat" can serve simply as a euphemism for a basement. The large Georgian or Victorian townhouse was built with an excavated subterranean space around its front known as an area, often surrounded by cast iron railings. This lowest floor housed the kitchen, the main place of work for the servants, with a "tradesman's entrance" via the area stairs. This "lower ground floor" (another euphemism) has proven ideal for conversion to a self-contained "garden flat". One American term for this arrangement is an
English basement An English basement is an apartment on the lowest floor of a building, generally a townhouse or brownstone, which is partially below and partially above ground level and which has its own entrance separate from those of the rest of the building. ...
.


Basement apartment

Generally on the lowest floor of a building.


Secondary suite

When part of a house is converted for the ostensible use of the owner's family member, the self-contained dwelling may be known as an "in-law apartment", "annexe", or "granny flat", though these (sometimes illegally) created units are often occupied by ordinary renters rather than the landlord's relative. In Canada these are commonly located below the main house and are therefore "basement suites". Another term is an "accessory dwelling unit", which may be part of the main house, or a free-standing structure in its grounds.


Salon apartment

''Salon apartment'' is a term linked to the exclusive apartments built as part of multi-family houses in
Belgrade Belgrade ( ; sr-cyr, Београд, Beograd, lit='White City', ; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and th ...
and in certain towns in
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn: , transcr. ; sk, Juhoslávia; ro, Iugoslavia; cs, Jugoslávie; it, Iugoslavia ; tr, Yugoslavya; bg, Юго ...
in the first decades of the 20th century. The structure of the apartments included centrally located anteroom with a combined function of the dining room and one or more salon areas. Most of these apartments were built in Belgrade (
Serbia Serbia (, ; sr, Србија, Srbija, ),, * cs, Srbsko, * ro, Serbia * rue, Сербия *german: Serbien *french: Serbie * uk, Сербія * hu, Szerbia * bg, Сърбия * sq, Serbia * bs, Srbija * officially the Republic of Serbia,, is a cou ...
), along with the first examples of apartments popularly named 'salon apartments', with the concept of spatial and functional organization later spreading to other larger urban centers in Yugoslavia.


Maisonette

Maisonette (a corruption of , French for "little house" and originally the spelling in English as well, but which has since fallen into disuse) has no strict definition, but the '' OED'' suggests "a part of a residential building which is occupied separately, usually on more than one floor and having its own outside entrance." It differs from a flat in having, usually, more than one floor, with a staircase internal to the dwelling leading from the entrance floor to the upper (or, in some cases, lower) other floor. This is a very common arrangement in much post-
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using ...
British housing (especially, but not exclusively, public housing) serving both to reduce costs by reducing the amount of space given to access corridors and to emulate the 'traditional' two-storey terrace house to which many of the residents would have been accustomed. It also allows for apartments, even when accessed by a corridor, to have windows on both sides of the building. A maisonette could encompass
Tyneside flat Tyneside flats are a form of domestic housing found in England, primarily on Tyneside (i.e., Newcastle; Gateshead), and on Wearside in the Sunderland areas. They are pairs of single-storey flats within a two-storey terrace, a common type of Victor ...
s, pairs of single-storey flats within a two-storey
terrace Terrace may refer to: Landforms and construction * Fluvial terrace, a natural, flat surface that borders and lies above the floodplain of a stream or river * Terrace, a street suffix * Terrace (earthworks), a leveled surface built into the landsc ...
. Their distinctive feature is their use of two separate front doors onto the street, each door leading to a single flat. "Maisonette" could also stretch to
cottage flat Cottage flats, also known as four-in-a-block flats, are a style of housing common in Scotland, where there are single floor dwellings at ground level, and similar dwellings on the floor above. All have doors directly to the outside of the building, ...
s, also known as 'four-in-a-block flats', a style of housing common in Scotland.


One dwelling with two storeys

The vast majority of apartments are on one level, hence "flat". Some, however, have two storeys, joined internally by stairs, just as many houses do. One term for this is "maisonette", as above. Some
housing in the United Kingdom Housing in the United Kingdom represents the largest non-financial asset class in the UK; its overall net value passed the £5 trillion mark in 2014. About 30% of homes are owned outright by their occupants, and a further 40% are owner-occupied o ...
, both public and private, was designed as scissor section flats. On a grander level, penthouses may have more than one storey, to emphasise the idea of space and luxury. Two storey units in new construction are sometimes referred to as "
townhouse A townhouse, townhome, town house, or town home, is a type of terraced housing. A modern townhouse is often one with a small footprint on multiple floors. In a different British usage, the term originally referred to any type of city residence (n ...
s" in some countries (though not usually in Britain).


Small buildings with a few one-storey dwellings

"
Duplex Duplex (from Latin ''duplex'', "double, two-fold"), may refer to: People * Edward Duplex, a nineteenth-century African-American pioneer Locations * Duplex, Tennessee, an unincorporated community in the United States * Duplex, Texas, an unincorpor ...
" refers to two separate units with a common demising wall or floor-ceiling assembly. Duplex description can be different depending on the part of the US, but generally has two to four dwellings with a door for each and usually two front doors close together but separate—referred to as '
duplex Duplex (from Latin ''duplex'', "double, two-fold"), may refer to: People * Edward Duplex, a nineteenth-century African-American pioneer Locations * Duplex, Tennessee, an unincorporated community in the United States * Duplex, Texas, an unincorpor ...
', indicating the number of units, not the number of floors, as in some areas of the country they are often only one story. Groups of more than two units have corresponding names (Triplex, etc.). Those buildings that have a third storey are known as triplexes. See
Three-decker (house) built in 1916 A certain type of three-story apartment building is often called a three-decker or triple-decker in the United States. These buildings are typical of light-framed, wood construction, where each floor usually consists of a single a ...
In the United States, regional forms have developed, see
vernacular architecture Stone and clay houses in rural Nepal Vernacular architecture is architecture characterised by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular architecture represents the majority ...
. In
Milwaukee Milwaukee (, ) is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The seat of Milwaukee County, the city is located on Lake Michigan's southwestern shore and was incorporated in 1846. As of ...

Milwaukee
, a
Polish flat A Polish flat (sometimes referred to as a German duplex) is a two-family home with separate entrances, with the units stacked on top of one another instead of side-by-side. Most homes of this type were constructed in the early 20th century. Constr ...
or "raised cottage" is an existing small house that has been lifted up to accommodate the creation of a basement floor housing a separate apartment, then set down again, thus becoming a modest pair of dwellings. In the
Sun Belt The Sun Belt is a region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the Southeast and Southwest. Another rough definition of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel. Several climates can be found in the region — desert/ ...

Sun Belt
, boxy small apartment buildings called dingbats, often with
carport thumbnail, Carport in front of garages A carport is a covered structure used to offer limited protection to vehicles, primarily cars, from rain and snow. The structure can either be free standing or attached to a wall. Unlike most structures, a carp ...
s below, sprang up from the 1950s. In the United Kingdom the term ''duplex'' is rare, but sometimes used as a modern, upmarket alternative for a maisonette. Buildings containing two dwellings with a common vertical wall are instead known as ''semi-detached'', or colloquially ''a semi''. This form of construction is very common, and built as such rather than a later conversion.


Loft apartment

This type of apartment developed in North America during the middle of the 20th century. The term initially described a living space created within a former industrial building, usually 19th century. These large apartments found favor with artists and musicians wanting accommodation in large cities (New York for example) and is related to unused buildings in the decaying parts of such cities being occupied illegally by people
squatting Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use. The United Nations estimated in 2003 that there wer ...
. These loft apartments were usually located in former highrise warehouses and factories left vacant after town planning rules and economic conditions in the mid 20th century changed. The resulting apartments created a new bohemian lifestyle and are arranged in a completely different way from most urban living spaces, often including workshops and art studio spaces. As the supply of old buildings of a suitable nature has dried up, developers have responded by constructing new buildings in the same aesthetic with varying degrees of success. An industrial, warehouse, or commercial space converted to an apartment is commonly called a ''
loft The Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT) is a proposed ESA space mission originally slated to launch around 2022, and now proposed to launch around 2025. The mission will be devoted to the study of neutron stars, black holes and other compact ...
'', although some modern lofts are built by design.


Penthouse

An apartment located on the top floor of a high-rise apartment building.


Communal apartment

In
Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, covering and encompassing more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited l ...
, a communal apartment («коммуналка») is a room with a shared kitchen and bath. A typical arrangement is a cluster of five or so room-apartments with a common kitchen and bathroom and separate front doors, occupying a floor in a pre-Revolutionary mansion. Traditionally a room is owned by the government and assigned to a family on a semi-permanent basis.


Serviced apartment

A "serviced apartment" is any size space for residential living which includes regular maid and cleaning services provided by the rental agent. Serviced apartments or serviced flats developed in the early part of the 20th century and were briefly fashionable in the 1920s and 30s. They are intended to combine the best features of luxury and self-contained apartments, often being an adjunct of a
hotel A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. Facilities provided inside a hotel room may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a refr ...
. Like guests semi-permanently installed in a luxury hotel, residents could enjoy the additional facilities such as house keeping, laundry, catering and other services if and when desired. A feature of these apartment blocks was quite glamorous interiors with lavish bathrooms but no kitchen or laundry spaces in each flat. This style of living became very fashionable as many upper-class people found they could not afford as many live-in staff after the First World War and revelled in a "lock-up and leave" life style that serviced apartment hotels supplied. Some buildings have been subsequently renovated with standard facilities in each apartment, but serviced apartment hotel complexes continue to be constructed. Recently a number of hotels have supplemented their traditional business model with serviced apartment wings, creating privately owned areas within their buildings - either
freehold Freehold may refer to: In real estate *Freehold (law), the tenure of property in fee simple *Customary freehold, a form of feudal tenure of land in England *Parson's freehold, where a Church of England rector or vicar of holds title to benefice pr ...
or
leasehold A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. Although a tenant does hold rights to real property, a lea ...
.


Facilities

Apartments may be available for rent furnished, with furniture, or unfurnished into which a tenant moves in with his own furniture.
Serviced apartment Short-term rental describes furnished self-contained apartments that are rented for short periods of time, usually by the month as opposed to annual rentals in the unfurnished apartment rental market. They are seen as an alternative to hotels. "Sho ...
s, intended to be convenient for shorter stays, include soft furnishings and
kitchen utensils A kitchen utensil is a hand-held, typically small tool that is designed for food-related functions. Food preparation utensils are a specific type of kitchen utensil, designed for use in the preparation of food. Some utensils are both food preparati ...
, and
maid service Maid service, cleaning service, apartment cleaning and janitorial service are terms more modernly describing a specialized outside service, providing a specific service to individuals, businesses, fraternal clubs and associations as well residentia ...
. Laundry facilities may reside in a common area accessible to all building tenants, or each apartment may have its own facilities. Depending on when the building was built and its design, utilities such as water, heating, and electricity may be common for all of the apartments, or separate for each apartment and billed separately to each tenant. (Many areas in the US have ruled it illegal to split a water bill among all the tenants, especially if a pool is on the premises.) Outlets for connection to telephones are typically included in apartments. Telephone service is optional and is almost always billed separately from the rent payments. Cable television and similar amenities also cost extra. Parking space(s), air conditioning, and extra storage space may or may not be included with an apartment. Rental
lease A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are leased. Industrial or business equipment is also leased. Broadly put, a ...
s often limit the maximum number of residents in each apartment. On or around the ground floor of the apartment building, a series of
mailbox Mailbox may refer to: * Letter box (also known as a letter plate, letter hole, deed or mail slot), a private receptacle for ''incoming'' mail * Post box (also known as a drop box), a public receptacle for ''outgoing'' mail ** Pillar box, a freesta ...
es are typically kept in a location accessible to the public and, thus, to the
mail carrier A mail carrier, mailman, mailwoman, postal carrier, postman, postwoman, or letter carrier (in American English), sometimes colloquially known as a postie (in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom), is an employee of a post of ...
. Every unit typically gets its own mailbox with individual keys to it. Some very large apartment buildings with a full-time staff may take mail from the carrier and provide mail-sorting service. Near the mailboxes or some other location accessible by outsiders, a buzzer (equivalent to a
doorbell A doorbell is a signaling device typically placed near a door to a building's entrance. When a visitor presses a button the bell rings inside the building, alerting the occupant to the presence of the visitor. Although the first doorbells were m ...
) may be available for each individual unit. In smaller apartment buildings such as two- or three-flats, or even four-flats, rubbish is often disposed of in trash containers similar to those used at houses. In larger buildings, rubbish is often collected in a common trash bin or dumpster. For cleanliness or minimizing noise, many lessors will place restrictions on tenants regarding smoking or keeping pets in an apartment.


Various

In more urban areas, apartments close to the
downtown ''Downtown'' is a term primarily used in North America by English speakers to refer to a city's commercial, cultural and often the historical, political and geographic heart, and is often synonymous with its central business district (CBD). It i ...
area have the benefits of proximity to jobs and/or
public transportation Shanghai Metro is the second largest rapid transit system in the world by route length, after the Beijing Subway. Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of tran ...
. However, prices per square foot are often much higher than in suburban areas. Moving up from studio flats are one-bedroom apartments, in which a bedroom is separate from the rest of the apartment, followed by two-bedroom, three-bedroom, etc. apartments. (Apartments with more than three bedrooms are rare.) Small apartments often have only one entrance. Large apartments often have two entrances, perhaps a door in the front and another in the back, or from an underground or otherwise attached parking structure. Depending on the building design, the entrance doors may be connected directly to the outside or to a common area inside, such as a hallway or a lobby. In many American cities, the One-plus-five style of mid-rise, wood-framed apartments have gained significant popularity following a 2009 revision to the
International Building Code The International Building Code (IBC) is a model building code developed by the International Code Council (ICC). It has been adopted for use as a base code standard by most jurisdictions in the United States. The IBC addresses both health and safet ...
; these buildings typically feature four wood-framed floors above a concrete podium and are popular with developers due to their high density and relatively lower construction costs.


Historical examples


Pre-Columbian Americas

The
Puebloan peoples The Puebloans or Pueblo peoples, are Native Americans in the Southwestern United States who share common agricultural, material, and religious practices. Pueblo, which means "village" in Spanish, was a term originating with the Colonial Spanish, w ...
of what is now the Southwestern United States have constructed large, multi-room dwellings, some comprising more than 900 rooms, since the 10th century. In the
Classic Period Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of prehispanic Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian (first human habitation until 3500 BCE); the Archaic (before 2600 BCE), the Preclassic or Formative (2500 BCE – 250 ...
Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Within this region pre-Columbian societies f ...
n city of
Teotihuacan Teotihuacan (Spanish: ''Teotihuacán'') (; ) is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, which is located in the State of Mexico, northeast of modern-day Mexico City. Teotihuacan is known today as the ...
, apartments were not only the standard means of housing the city's population of over 200,000 inhabitants, but show a remarkably even wealth distribution for the entire city, even by contemporary standards. Furthermore, the apartments were inhabited by the general populace as a whole, in contrast to other Pre-Modern socieites, where apartments were limited to housing the lower class members of the society, as with the somewhat contemporary Roman
insulae The Latin word ''insula'' (literally meaning "island", plural ''insulae'') was used in Roman cities to mean either a city block in a city plan, i.e. a building area surrounded by four streets, or, later, a type of apartment building that occupied su ...
.


Ancient Rome

In
ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC), Rom ...
, the
insulae The Latin word ''insula'' (literally meaning "island", plural ''insulae'') was used in Roman cities to mean either a city block in a city plan, i.e. a building area surrounded by four streets, or, later, a type of apartment building that occupied su ...
(singular ''insula'') were large apartment buildings where the lower and middle classes of
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in ...
(the
plebs The plebeians, also called plebs, were, in ancient Rome, the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census, or in other words "commoners". The precise origins of the group and the term are unclear, thou ...
) dwelled. The floor at ground level was used for
taberna A ''taberna'' (plural ''tabernae'') was a type of shop or stall in Ancient Rome. Originally meaning a single-room shop for the sale of goods and services, ''tabernae'' were often incorporated into domestic dwellings on the ground level flanking th ...
s, shops and businesses, with living space on the higher floors. Insulae in Rome and other
imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...

imperial
cities reached up to ten or more stories,Gregory S. Aldrete: ''Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii and Ostia'', 2004, , p.79f. some with more than 200 stairs. Several
emperors An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), mother (empress ...
, beginning with
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...

Augustus
(r. 30 BC – 14 AD), attempted to establish limits of 20–25 m for multi-storey buildings, but met with only limited success. The lower floors were typically occupied by either shops or wealthy families, while the upper stories were rented out to the lower classes. Surviving
Oxyrhynchus Papyri right The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a group of manuscripts discovered during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt at an ancient rubbish dump near Oxyrhynchus in Egypt (, mo ...
indicate that seven-story buildings even existed in
provincial Provincial may refer to: Government & Administration * Provincial capitals, an administrative sub-national capital of a country * Provincial city (disambiguation) * Provincial minister (disambiguation) * Provincial Secretary, a position in Canadi ...
towns, such as in 3rd century
Hermopolis Hermopolis ( grc, Ἑρμοῦ πόλις ''Hermoû pólis'' "the City of Hermes", also ''Hermopolis Magna'', ''Hermoû pólis megálẽ'', egy, ḫmnw , Egyptological pronunciation: "Khemenu"; cop, Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ ''Shmun''; ar, الأشمونين ...
in
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_map = Roman Empire - Ae ...
.


Ancient and medieval Egypt

During the medieval Arabic-Islamic period, the Egyptian capital of
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule. It was built by the Muslim general 'Amr ibn al-'As immediately after the Muslim conquest of ...
(
Old Cairo__NOTOC__ Old Cairo (Arabic: مصر القديمة , Misr al-qadīma, Egyptian pronunciation: Masr El-Adeema) is a historic area in Cairo, Egypt, which includes the site of a Roman-era fortress and of Islamic-era settlements pre-dating the founding ...
) housed many high-rise residential buildings, some seven stories tall that could reportedly accommodate hundreds of people. In the 10th century,
Al-Muqaddasi , birth_date = c. 945/946 CE , birth_place = Jerusalem, Palestine , death_date = 991 CE , death_place = Fatimid Caliphate , era = Islamic Golden Age , school_tradition = Balkhi school , main_interests = Islamic ...
described them as resembling
minaret Minaret (; fa, گل‌دسته ', az, minarə, tr, minare,"minaret."
''Online Etymology Dictionary''. ...
s, and stated that the majority of Fustat's population lived in these multi-storey apartment buildings, each one housing more than 200 people. In the 11th century,
Nasir Khusraw Abu Mo’in Hamid ad-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw al-Qubadiani or Nāsir Khusraw Qubādiyānī Balkhi also spelled as ''Nasir Khusrow'' and ''Naser Khosrow'' (d. after 1070) ( fa, ناصر خسرو قبادیانی) was a Persian poet, philosopher, Isma ...
described some of these apartment buildings rising up to fourteen stories, with
roof garden A roof garden is a garden on the roof of a building. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, recreational opportu ...
s on the top storey complete with ox-drawn
water wheel A water wheel is a machine for converting the energy of flowing or falling water into useful forms of power, often in a watermill. A water wheel consists of a wheel (usually constructed from wood or metal), with a number of blades or buckets ...
s for irrigating them. By the 16th century, the current
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩⲓⲣⲏ) is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The Cairo metropolitan area, with a population of 21.3 million, is the 2nd largest in Africa and in the Arab world, and the 6th-larg ...
also had high-rise apartment buildings, where the two lower floors were for commercial and storage purposes and the multiple stories above them were
rented Renting, also known as hiring or letting, is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlord pays for al ...
out to
tenants A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. Although a tenant does hold rights to real property, a lea ...
.


Yemen

High-rise apartment buildings were built in the
Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital in exile) , coordinates = , capital_exile = Riyadh (presidential administration) , largest_city ...
i city of
Shibam Shibam Hadramawt ( ar, شِبَام حَضْرَمَوْت, Shibām Ḥaḍramawt) is a town in Yemen. With about 7,000 inhabitants, it is the seat of the District of Shibam in the Governorate of Hadhramaut. Known for its mudbrick-made high-rise bu ...
in the 16th century. The houses of Shibam are all made out of mud bricks, but about 500 of them are
tower house A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation. Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountainous or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strategi ...
s, which rise 5 to 11 stories high, with each floor having one or two apartments.Old Walled City of Shibam
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace an ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Centre
Shibam has been called "
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of t ...

Manhattan
of the desert". Some of them were over high, thus being the tallest
mudbrick A mudbrick or mud-brick is an air-dried brick, made of a mixture of loam, mud, sand and water mixed with a binding material such as rice husks or straw. Mudbricks are known from 9000 BCE, though since 4000 BC, bricks have also been fired, ...
apartment buildings in the world to this day.


Ancient China

The
Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes Hakka Han, are a Han Chinese subgroup whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guizhou. The Chinese characters f ...
in southern
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
adopted communal living structures designed to be easily defensible, in the form of Weilongwu (围龙屋) and
Tulou A tulou (), or "earthen building", is a traditional communal Hakka people residence found in Fujian, in South China, usually of a circular configuration surrounding a central shrine, and part of Hakka architecture. These vernacular structures ...
(土楼). The latter are large, enclosed and fortified earth buildings, between three and five stories high and housing up to eighty families.


Current examples


England

In London, by the time of the 2011 census, 52 per cent of all homes were flats. Many of these were built as Georgian or Victorian houses and subsequently divided up. Many others were built as
council flat A council house is a form of British public housing built by local authorities. A council estate is a building complex containing a number of council houses and other amenities like schools and shops. Construction took place mainly from 1919 af ...
s. Many
tower blocks '' high-rise building in Kalasatama, Helsinki A high-rise building is a tall building, as opposed to a low-rise building and is defined differently in terms of height depending on the jurisdiction. It is used as a residential, office building, ...
were built after the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
. A number of these have been demolished and replaced with low-rise buildings or
housing estate A housing estate (or sometimes housing complex or housing development) is a group of homes and other buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Popular throughout the United States and th ...
s. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the concept of the flat was slow to catch on amongst the British middle classes, which generally followed the north European standard of single-family houses dating far back into history. Those who lived in flats were assumed to be lower class and somewhat itinerant, renting for example a "flat above a shop" as part of a lease agreement for a tradesman. In London and most of Britain, everyone who could afford to do so occupied an entire house—even if this was a small
terraced house __NOTOC__ In agriculture, a terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms, which resemble steps, for the purposes of more effective farming. This type of landscaping is th ...
—while the working poor continued to rent rooms in often overcrowded properties, with one (or more) families per room. During the last quarter of the 19th century, as wealth increased, ideas began to change. Both urban growth and the increase in population meant that more imaginative housing concepts would be needed if the middle and upper classes were to maintain a in the capital. The traditional London town house was becoming increasingly expensive to maintain. For bachelors and unmarried women in particular, the idea of renting a modern mansion flat became increasingly popular. The first mansion flats in England were: *Albert Mansions, which Philip Flower constructed and James Knowles designed. These flats were constructed between 1867 and 1870, and were one of the earliest blocks of flats to fill the vacant spaces of the newly-laid out Victoria Street at the end of the 1860s. Today, only a sliver of the building remains, next to the
Victoria Palace Theatre The Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster, opposite Victoria Station. History Origins The theatre began life as a small concert room above the stables of the Royal Standard Hotel, a small h ...
. Albert Mansions was really 19 separate "houses", each with a staircase serving one flat per floor. Its tenants included
Sir Arthur Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900) was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including ''H.M.S. Pinafore'', ''The Pirates of Penzance'' and ''Th ...
and Lord Alfred Tennyson, whose connections with the developer's family were long-standing. Philip Flower's son, 1st Baron Cyril Flower Battersea, developed most of the mansion blocks on Prince of Wales Drive, London. *Albert Hall Mansions, designed by Richard Norman Shaw in 1876. Because this was a new type of housing, Shaw reduced risks as much as possible; each block was planned as a separate project, with the building of each part contingent on the successful occupation of every flat in the previous block. The gamble paid off and was a success.


Scotland

In Scotland, the term "
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access, on the British Isles notably common in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, in Edinburgh, tenem ...
" lacks the pejorative connotations it carries elsewhere and refers simply to any block of flats sharing a common central staircase and lacking an elevator, particularly those constructed before 1919. Tenements were, and continue to be, inhabited by a wide range of social classes and income groups. Tenements today are bought by a wide range of social types, including young professionals, older retirees, and by absentee landlords, often for rental to students after they leave dorm, halls of residence managed by their institution. The National Trust for Scotland Tenement House (Glasgow) is a historic house museum offering an insight into the lifestyle of tenement dwellers, as it was generations ago. During the 19th century tenements became the predominant type of new housing in Scotland's industrial cities, although they were very common in the Old Town, Edinburgh, Old Town in Edinburgh from the 15th century, where they reached ten or eleven storeys and in one case fourteen storeys. Built of sandstone or granite, Scottish tenements are usually three to five storeys in height, with two to four flats on each floor. (In contrast, industrial cities in England tended to favour "Back-to-back houses, back-to-back"
terrace Terrace may refer to: Landforms and construction * Fluvial terrace, a natural, flat surface that borders and lies above the floodplain of a stream or river * Terrace, a street suffix * Terrace (earthworks), a leveled surface built into the landsc ...
s of brick.) Scottish tenements are constructed in terraces, and each entrance within a block is referred to as a ''close'' or ''stair''—both referring to the shared passageway to the individual flats. Flights of stairs and landings are generally designated common areas, and residents traditionally took turns to sweep clean the floors and, in Aberdeen in particular, took turns to make use of shared laundry facilities in the "back green" (garden or yard). It is now more common for cleaning of the common ways to be contracted out through a managing agent or "factor". In Glasgow, where Scotland's highest concentration of tenement dwellings can be found, the urban renewal projects of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s brought an end to the city's slums, which had primarily consisted of older tenements built in the early 19th century in which large extended families would live together in cramped conditions. They were replaced by high-rise blocks that, within a couple of decades, became notorious for crime and poverty. The Glasgow Corporation made many efforts to improve the situation, most successfully with the City Improvement Trust, which cleared the slums of the old town, replacing them with what they thought of as a traditional high street, which remains an imposing townscape. (The City Halls and the Cleland Testimonial were part of this scheme.) National government help was given following World War I when Housing Acts sought to provide "homes fit for heroes". Garden suburb areas, based on English models, such as Knightswood, were set up. These proved too expensive, so a modern tenement, three stories high, slate roofed and built of reconstituted stone, was re-introduced and a slum clearance programme initiated to clear areas such as the Calton, Glasgow, Calton and the Garngad. After Second World War, World War II, more ambitious plans, known as the Bruce Plan, were made for the complete evacuation of slums for modern mid-rise housing developments on the outskirts of the city. However, the central government refused to fund the plans, preferring instead to depopulate the city to a series of New towns in the United Kingdom, New Towns.Williamson, E., Riches, A. & Higgs, M. ''The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow''. London: Penguin Books, 1990 Again, economic considerations meant that many of the planned "New Town" amenities were never built in these areas. These housing estates, known as "schemes", came therefore to be widely regarded as unsuccessful; many, such as Castlemilk, were just dormitories well away from the centre of the city with no amenities, such as shops and public houses ("deserts with windows", as Billy Connolly once put it). High-rise living too started off with bright ambition—the Moss Heights, built in the 1950s, are still desirable—but fell prey to later economic pressure. Many of the later tower blocks were poorly designed and cheaply built and their anonymity caused some social problems. The demolition of the tower blocks in order to build modern housing schemes has in some cases led to a re-interpretations of the tenement. In 1970 a team from Strathclyde University demonstrated that the old tenements had been basically sound, and could be given new life with replumbing providing modern kitchens and bathrooms. The Corporation acted on this principle for the first time in 1973 at the ''Old Swan Corner'', Pollokshaws. Thereafter, ''Housing Action Areas'' were set up to renovate so-called slums. Later, privately owned tenements benefited from government help in "stone cleaning", revealing a honey-coloured sandstone behind the presumed "grey" tenemental facades. The policy of tenement demolition is now considered to have been short-sighted, wasteful and largely unsuccessful. Many of Glasgow's worst tenements were refurbished into desirable accommodation in the 1970s and 1980s and the policy of demolition is considered to have destroyed fine examples of a "universally admired architectural" style. The Glasgow Housing Association took ownership of the public housing stock from the city council on 7 March 2003, and has begun a £96 million clearance and demolition programme to clear and demolish many of the high-rise flats.


United States

In 1839, the first New York City
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access, on the British Isles notably common in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, in Edinburgh, tenem ...
was built, and soon became breeding grounds for outlaws, juvenile delinquents, and organized crime. Tenements, or their slum landlords, were also known for their price gouging rent. ''How the Other Half Lives'' notes one tenement district:
Blind Man's Alley bear its name for a reason. Until little more than a year ago its dark burrows harbored a colony of blind beggars, tenants of a blind landlord, old Daniel Murphy, whom every child in the ward knows, if he never heard of the President of the United States. "Old Dan" made a big fortune--he told me once four hundred thousand dollars-- out of his alley and the surrounding tenements, only to grow blind himself in extreme old age, sharing in the end the chief hardship of the wretched beings whose lot he had stubbornly refused to better that he might increase his wealth. Even when the Metropolitan Board of Health, Board of Health at last compelled him to repair and clean up the worst of the old buildings, under threat of driving out the tenants and locking the doors behind them, the work was accomplished against the old man's angry protests. He appeared in person before the Board to argue his case, and his argument was characteristic. "I have made my will," he said. "My monument stands waiting for me in Calvary. I stand on the very brink of the grave, blind and helpless, and now (here the pathos of the appeal was swept under in a burst of angry indignation) do you want me to build and get skinned, skinned? These people are not fit to live in a nice house. Let them go where they can, and let my house stand." In spite of the genuine anguish of the appeal, it was downright amusing to find that his anger was provoked less by the anticipated waste of luxury on his tenants than by distrust of his own kind, the builder. He knew intuitively what to expect. The result showed that Mr. Murphy had gauged his tenants correctly.
Many campaigners, such as Upton Sinclair and Jacob Riis, pushed for reforms in tenement dwellings. As a result, the New York State Tenement House Act was passed in 1901 to improve the conditions. More improvements followed. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Housing Act of 1949 to clean slums and reconstruct housing units for the poor. The Dakota (1884) was one of the first luxury apartment buildings in New York City. The majority, however, remained tenements. Some significant developments in architectural design of apartment buildings came out of the 1950s and '60s. Among them were groundbreaking designs in the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951), New Century Guild (1961), Marina City (1964) and Lake Point Tower (1968). In the United States, "tenement" is a label usually applied to the less expensive, more basic rental apartment buildings in older sections of large cities. Many of these apartment buildings are "walk-ups" without an elevator, and some have shared bathing facilities, though this is becoming less common. The slang term "Dingbat (building), dingbat" is used to describe cheap urban apartment buildings from the 1950s and 1960s with unique and often wacky façades to differentiate themselves within a full block of apartments. They are often built on stilts, and with parking underneath.


Property classes

In the United States, properties are typically in one of four property classes, denoted by a letter grade. These grades are used to help investors and real estate brokers speak a common language so they can understand a property's characteristics and condition quickly. They are as follows: ''Class A'' properties are luxury units. They are usually less than 10 years old and are often new, upscale apartment buildings. Average rents are high, and they are generally in desirable geographic areas. White-collar workers live in them and are usually renters by choice. ''Class B'' properties can be 10 to 25 years old. They are generally well maintained and have a middle class tenant base of both white- and blue-collar workers. Some are renters by choice, and others by necessity. ''Class C'' properties were built within the last 30 to 40 years. They generally have blue-collar and low- to moderate-income tenants, and the rents are below market. Many tenants are renters "for life". On the other hand, some of their tenants are just starting out and are likely to work their way up the rental scale as their income rises. ''Class D'' properties house many Section 8 (housing), Section 8 (government-subsidized) tenants. They are generally located in lower socioeconomic areas.


Canada

Apartments were popular in Canada, particularly in urban centres like Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Hamilton in the 1950s to 1970s. By the 1980s, many multi-unit buildings were being constructed as
condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
s instead of apartments—both are now very common. In Toronto and Vancouver, high-rise apartments and condominiums have been spread around the city, giving even the major suburbs a skyline. The robustness of the condo markets in Toronto and Vancouver are based on the lack of land availability. The average capitalization rate in the Greater Toronto Area for Q3 2015 hit its lowest level in 30 years: in Q3 2015 it stood at 3.75 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent in Q2 2015 and down almost 50 per cent from the 6.3 per cent posted in Q3 2010.


Australia

Apartment buildings in Australia are typically managed by a body corporate or "owners corporation" in which owners pay a monthly fee to provide for common maintenance and help cover future repair. Many apartments are owned through
strata title Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The word "strata" refers to apartments being on different levels. Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in the state o ...
. Due to legislation, Australian banks will either apply loan to value ratios of over 70 per cent for strata titles of less than 50 square metres, the Big four banks, big four Australian banks will not loan at all for strata titles of less than 30 square metres. These are usually classified as studio apartments or student accommodation. Australian legislation enforces a minimum 2.4m floor-ceiling height which differentiates apartment buildings from office buildings. In Australia, apartment living is a popular lifestyle choice for DINKY, yuppies, university students and more recently empty nesters, however, rising land values in the big cities in recent years has seen an increase in families living in apartments. In Melbourne and Sydney apartment living is sometimes not a matter of choice for the many socially disadvantaged people who often end up in public housing towers. Australia has a relatively recent history in apartment buildings. Terrace houses were the early response to density development, though the majority of Australians lived in fully detached houses. Apartments of any kind were legislated against in the Parliament of Queensland as part of the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act 1885. The earliest apartment buildings were in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne as the response to fast rising land values–both cities are home to the two oldest surviving apartment buildings in the country, Kingsclere in Potts Point, and The Canterbury Flats in St Kilda, Victoria, St Kilda. Melbourne Mansions on Collins Street, Melbourne (now demolished), built in 1906 for mostly wealthy residents is believed by many to be the earliest. Today the oldest surviving self-contained apartment buildings are in the St Kilda, Victoria, St Kilda area including the Fawkner Mansions (1910), Majestic Mansions (1912 as a boarding house) and the Canterbury (1914—the oldest surviving buildings contained flats). Kingsclere, built in 1912 is believed to be the earliest apartment building in Sydney and still survives. During the interwar years, apartment building continued in inner Melbourne (particularly in areas such as St Kilda and South Yarra), Sydney (particularly in areas such as Potts Point, New South Wales, Potts Point, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Darlinghust and Kings Cross, New South Wales, Kings Cross) and in Brisbane (in areas such as New Farm, Queensland, New Farm, Fortitude Valley, Queensland, Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill, Queensland, Spring Hill). Post-World War II, with the Australian Dream apartment buildings went out of vogue and flats were seen as accommodation only for the poor. Walk-up flats (without a lift) of two to three storeys however were common in the middle suburbs of cities for lower income groups. The main exceptions were Sydney and the Gold Coast, Queensland where apartment development continued for more than half a century. In Sydney a limited geography and highly sought after waterfront views (Sydney Harbour and beaches such as Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Bondi) made apartment living socially acceptable. While on the Gold Coast views of the ocean, proximity to the beach and a large tourist population made apartments a popular choice. Since the 1960s, these cities maintained much higher population densities than the rest of Australia through the acceptance of apartment buildings. In other cities, apartment building was almost solely restricted to
public housing#REDIRECT Public housing#REDIRECT Public housing {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. Public housing in Australia was common in the larger cities, particularly in Melbourne (by the Housing Commission of Victoria) where a huge number of hi-rise housing commission flats were built between the 1950s and 1970s by successive governments as part of an urban renewal program. Areas affected included Fitzroy, Victoria, Fitzroy, Flemington, Victoria, Flemington, Collingwood, Victoria, Collingwood, Carlton, Victoria, Carlton, Richmond, Victoria, Richmond and Prahran, Victoria, Prahran. Similar projects were run in Sydney's lower socio-economic areas like Redfern, New South Wales, Redfern. In the 1980s, modern apartment buildings sprang up in riverside locations in Brisbane (along the Brisbane River) and Perth, Western Australia, Perth (along the Swan River (Western Australia), Swan River). In Melbourne, in the 1990s, a trend began for apartment buildings without the requirement of spectacular views. As a continuation of the gentrification of the inner city, a fashion became New York "loft" style apartments (see above) and a large stock of old warehouses and old abandoned office buildings in and around the central business district became the target of developers. The trend of adaptive reuse extended to conversion of old churches and schools. Similar warehouse conversions and gentrification began in Brisbane suburbs such as Teneriffe, Queensland and Fortitude Valley and in Sydney in areas such as Ultimo, New South Wales, Ultimo. As supply of buildings for conversion ran out, reproduction and post modern style apartments followed. The popularity of these apartments also stimulated a boom in the construction of new hi-rise apartment buildings in inner cities. This was particularly the case in Melbourne which was fuelled by official planning policies (Postcode 3000), making the CBD the fastest growing, population wise in the country. Apartment building in the Melbourne metropolitan area has also escalated with the advent of the Melbourne 2030 planning policy. Urban renewal areas like Melbourne Docklands, Docklands, Southbank, Victoria, Southbank, St Kilda Road and Port Melbourne are now predominantly apartments. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of student apartment buildings in areas such as Carlton in Melbourne. Despite their size, other smaller cities including Canberra, Darwin, Northern Territory, Darwin, Townsville, Cairns, Newcastle, New South Wales, Newcastle, Wollongong, New South Wales, Wollongong, Adelaide and Geelong have begun building apartments in the 2000s. Today, residential buildings Eureka Tower and Q1 (building), Q1 are the tallest in the country. In many cases, apartments in inner city areas of the major cities can cost much more than much larger houses in the outer suburbs. Some Australian cities, such as Gold Coast, Queensland, are inhabited predominantly by apartment dwellers.


Yugoslavia

The development of residential architecture in
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn: , transcr. ; sk, Juhoslávia; ro, Iugoslavia; cs, Jugoslávie; it, Iugoslavia ; tr, Yugoslavya; bg, Юго ...
during the period of socialism had its peak in the 1960s and 1970s. Significant progress in construction was accompanied by housing research directed towards finding the optimal urbanistic solutions for the newly formed lifestyle of the socialist society. The tendency was to "pack" as many residential units as possible into each building, almost up to the limits of the functional minimum, at the same time with the aim of setting a more humane pattern of living. As a consequence of these aspirations, the following concepts emerged, making the core of housing research: (a) apartments with an extended circulation area, (b) apartments with a central sanitary core, (c) apartments with a circular connection and (d) apartments with extended perspectives ("an Enfilade (architecture), enfilade”). These "socialist" ideas for the organization of living space had a firm base in theoretical research and underwent the phase of testing in architectural competitions, housing seminars and congresses, which made them spread over the whole territory of the country. The process of humanizing housing was not characteristic only in the Yugoslav context; similar ideas also appeared in other socialist countries of that period, as in the example of pre-fabricated housing construction in the Soviet Union (Khrushchyovka), Czechoslovakia (Panelák), Hungary (Panelház) and East Germany (Plattenbau).Jovanović J., Grbić J., Petrović, D. (2012) Prefabricated Construction in Former Yugoslavia. Visual and Aesthetic Features and Technology of Prefabrication, in Herold, S. and Stefanovska, B. (eds.) 45+ Post-War Modern Architecture in Europe. Berlin: Universitätsverlag der Technischen Universität Berlin, pp. 175-187.


See also

*Kamienica (architecture), Kamienica in Poland *
Condominium A condominium, (often shortened to condo in the United States and in most Canadian provinces) is a type of living space (often, but not necessarily, similar to an apartment) but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The c ...
*List of house types


References


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Apartment Building Apartments,