The Urban Housing Handbook from Wiley Publications, a new tome from Paris-based architects Caroline Stahl and Eric Firley, is a guided tour through urban housing typologies from all over the world. Concerned as much with the housing type's impact on its city block as it is with the housing itself, Stahl and Firley give a detailed account of where our urban housing has been and where it's heading.
Whether the patio housing of Quito, Ecuador, or the the pol style house in Ahmedabad, India or the well-trod terrace houses of London, The Urban Housing Handbook breaks down each type's history, urban configuration and architecture. Maps, diagrams, and photos illustrate how each has helped form its respective city, and then a case study of a contemporary building, a modern version of the type, by the likes of MVRDV, SANAA, Morphosis and the like, explores how this form is still relevant to urban housing.
A scholarly book, The Urban Housing Handbook has its sights set on architects, urban planners and students. And though the general reader could learn much here, the prose is at times, overly-academic. Nonetheless, as a field guide to how we live in cities, and why our cities look the way they do, little has escaped Stahl and Firley's watchful eyes.