I'm looking for the word to describe of a particular type of apartment building. I attached a picture to illustrate it.

It is a building that has several apartments on each story with an exterior corridor/passage linking them. What word best described this architectural style?

  • 1
    Welcome to our community. Try and make sure your question is focused. Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


Multi-story apartment block, single-loaded exterior balcony over colonnade.

Single loaded refers to all apartments being on one side of a corridor, hall or other accessway / circulation path.

Exterior balcony describes the circulation path.

Colonnade describes the row of columns supporting the balcony, which functions as an arcade at the ground floor.

@Morgan Meredith is correct that in addition, architects, designers, planners, developers, and builders would add a letter descriptor for the shape of the building's floorplan (how the building would look from directly overhead) such as "H" shaped, "L" shaped, "U" shaped and so on; if the building footprint is square with a large space in the centre that would be a "courtyard" building (in some places called a caravanserii) which are common in locales with significant diurnal heat buildup.

Hope this helps.

P.S. - I'm an architectural designer - been in the field for over a decade, working on multi-family housing, affordable housing, mixed-use projects, commercial, single-family residential communities, university student housing, university dining commons, and so on - so you could say this question's right in my wheelhouse!


I would call that a "motel-style apartment block". You can further describe it by the shape of the building (H, L, T, E, or square).


I don't know of any commonly-used term to describe this type of building. I wouldn't be surprised if architects had a name for it, but most people probably wouldn't recognize such a technical term.

If you want to be clear, I think you need to take a sentence or so and describe it.

  • Agree. It's a very common style but I have never heard a word for it.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 3:43

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