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.
Frances Anderton is host of DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly radio show broadcast on KCRW NPR station in Los Angeles. For many years she produced KCRW's acclaimed current affairs shows, To The Point, and Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney. She has served as correspondent for the New York Times and Dwell magazine. Her books include Grand Illusion: A Story of Ambition, and its Limits, on LA’s Bunker Hill, based on a studio she cotaught with Frank Gehry and partners at USC School of Architecture. Honors include the Esther McCoy 2010 Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism from USC School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild; she was SCI-Arc’s Honored Guest at its 2018 Main Event. Anderton was raised in Bath, England, and studied architecture at the Bartlett at University College London. She subsequently became associate editor of the Architectural Review. Her first assignment was life-changing: to produce a special report on new architecture in Los Angeles.