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Tower block
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Tower block

A Tower block, block of flats or apartment block is a high-rise apartment building.

Tower blocks were first built in the UK after the Second World War. Initially, they were welcomed, and their excellent views made them popular living places. Later, as the buildings themselves deteriorated, they grew a reputation for being undesirable low cost housing, and many tower blocks saw rising crime levels, increasing their unpopularity. One response to this was the great increase in the number of housing estates built, which in turn brings its own problems.

The unpopularity of tower blocks in the UK is in marked contrast to many other countries. In Singapore, for example, land prices are so high that almost the entire population lives in high rise apartments. Similarly high prices continue to encourage high-rise apartment construction in New York City (especially Manhattan).

One of the advantages of apartment blocks is that they decrease the costs of infrastructure development (water, power, roads, public transportation) as opposed to low-rise suburban houses.

Buildings containing low numbers of flats or apartments, or which are low-rise buildings such as tenement buildings, are described in apartment building.