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Design

Readers: What Home Designs Are You Curious About?

Bloomberg CityLab’s ongoing series features home designs that have shaped cities around the world. What residential floor plan should we write about next?

Amsterdam’s Canal Houses may look spacious, but originally most of their rooms were used for storage.

Amsterdam’s Canal Houses may look spacious, but originally most of their rooms were used for storage.

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

If you really want to understand what gives a city its identity, a great place to start looking is at its actual bricks and mortar. The world’s great cities may be sites of power and culture, economic engine rooms and living museums, but they are also something more fundamental: collections of walls and roofs and streets and sewers.

This urban fabric — the rooms and homes in which citizens carry out their daily lives — can sometimes tell us a lot more about a city’s character, its wired-in strengths and weaknesses, than any account of daily politics. This is the side of urban life that Bloomberg CityLab’s Iconic Home Designs series tries to uncover. The series looks at classic housing types and floorplans in major cities around the world, uncovering a huge variety of architecture and urban folklore, and bringing the lives and homes of ordinary people into the spotlight.