From northeastern Italy to downtown Pittsburgh, a trendy neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia, to Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, here are eight inventive, modern apartment buildings that fit in quite nicely with their surroundings.
The 947 Liberty Lofts, in downtown Pittsburgh’s Penn-Liberty Historic District, is one of developer Eve Picker’s efforts to bring the city core back to life. A 20-foot setback leaves room for an outdoor café that bustles at lunchtime. The 15-foot sculptures were created by James Simon, a Pittsburgh artist. Photo by Roger Davies.
Resembling a jumble of houses piled on top of one another, this dynamic apartment building designed by the architect Sou Fujimoto evokes the chaos and crowding of its setting, Tokyo. Adding to the complexity, the units do not correspond to the house forms. Instead, stairs and ladders link individual tenant spaces that span the different pitched-roof volumes. The building sits on a corner in a residential neighborhood.
Carsten Cox enjoys the view from his penthouse terrace in the NF1 apartment complex in Duisburg, Germany, designed by the British architect Norman Foster. The steel used for the terrace, and the brick-colored cladding of the building, echo the industrial architecture of the area. The angles suggest a ship, a nautical link with Duisburg’s past as a major port. Photo by Hertha Hurnaus.
For a six-unit residential building in Sesto, Italy, the architecture and design firm Plasma Studio took a decidedly contemporary approach to the regional vernacular. The color palette of existing houses in the area informed the choice of materials—blonde larch wood and dark gray pre-oxidized copper—and building codes mandated a pitched roof, but the structure boasts a highly geometric form (the firm’s signature), courtesy of balconies that jut from the facade, echoing the roof’s slope. Photo by Herta Hurnaus.
Trinity Apartments, a six-story, three-tiered complex that sits atop a ridge in Auckland, New Zealand's trendy Parnell neighborhood. The concrete, glass, and cedar structure with 32 roomy apartments (ranging from 750 to 2,350 square feet) is not only striking to look at, but engineered to harness natural light, warmth, and an abundance of cooling breezes. Photo by Simon Devitt.
In South Yarra, a bustling neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia, the design-build-development firm Neometro erected the Ten Darling apartments with community in mind. The building, a Corbusier-inspired brutalist creation, situates residents within walking distance of the Toorak Road and Chapel Street restaurant and fashion strips as well as several parks and the city's Royal Botanic Gardens, and is a stone's throw from railway and tram lines. Photo courtesy of Neometro.
Seeking to harmoniously integrate a modern aesthetic into the varied architectural vernaculars of Mumbai, India, the Brooklyn-based firm Khanna Schultz designed a stacked, seven-unit apartment building that incorporates traditional elements with contemporary approaches. A view from the street reveals the front and side elevations of the building, with a refrain of perforations running up the side of the apartments. The balconies, made from a recycled Indian railway hardwood, employ closely linked slats whose gaps widen as they go up, to let breeze and light in. Photo by Edmund Sumner.