As Los Angeles confronts a growing housing crisis, a city known for its single-family housing will inevitably shift toward a greater emphasis on apartments and other types of multi-family housing. Anderton’s book shows how connected dwellings work as good architecture and good social systems; multi-family housing itself will become an aspirational form of dwelling, not second in status or style to single family homes.
For decades, the Los Angeles lifestyle has been equated with the suburban single-family home with a big backyard, yet L.A. has also been a laboratory for exceptional experiments in multifamily housing, from the courtyard to the rooftop garden, all centered on shared open space. In Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles, author Frances Anderton explores that fascinating history, from the bungalow courts and apartment-hotels of the 1910s, to the development of garden apartments, to contemporary mid-rise “urban villages,” and experiments in co-living. Common Ground features the work of the Zwebells, Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Ralph Vaughn, Koning Eizenberg, Sean Knibb, Michael Maltzan, Brooks + Scarpa, Lorcan O'Herlihy, Shin Shin, and many more. In a time of housing crisis, Anderton makes the case that well-designed, equitable connected living is tomorrow’s aspirational American dream.