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abelina in dw_britglish

Apartment buildings

A large building, multuiple floors, with multiple dwellings inside, accessed through a single front door with all the separate living spaces's doors accessed from inside the building. I don't mean a council building like the Powell Estate, but say a higher-end building in a more upscale neighbourhood.  We would call it an apartment building or apartment complex in North America.  (London area, if that makes a difference)


The taller buildings on the Powell Estate are both "blocks of flats" and "tower blocks". We use BOF for smaller buildings, non-council buildings, and posh ones too; posh flats in London might be "mansion flats" or "mansion blocks". Tower blocks are never posh AFAIK.

Google Images will show you examples of each, or if you can find a picture of the sort of thing you mean we can tell you what we'd call it.
Thanks, I think I could easily use the generic "blocks of flats", since it's mostly a passing mention and not a main focus of anything, I just needed to know how to refer to things. Someone commented below as well and I think it's perhaps more specifically "mansion blocks" that I'm thinking of.
"Block of flats".
If the upscaleness really needs to be emphasised, then "a posh block of flats" (or, I suppose, "a block of posh flats").

Though that's just what I'd call it, estate agents might go for "luxury mansion apartment building" or some such, depending on exactly how high-end you mean.
I think the upscaleness will be implied, more a passing observation than a main point, so "posh" would work, thank you, along with the "block of flats" terminology.
Mansion blocks have a distinctive look (Victorian red brick, mainly). A posh block of flats might be an apartment block If both modern and purpose-built; other options would be a Regency terrace (mainly very posh now), a church/warehouse/school converted into flats, or a modern block of flats with glass walls and metal balconies.
I think I may be thinking of mansion blocks, since the area I'm thinking of has a lot of those red brick buildings. I'm not going for modern. Some additional research suggests there's also some terraces around the area I'm thinking, too, so both of those work, thank you.
Mansion block.
I live in one.
A previous poster suggested that, too, and I think that's exactly what I'm thinking of. Thanks!
Most are brick, though mine is a rare pre-war concrete Art Deco building which would look more at home in Brighton or South Beach but is in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea instead.

Most 20-30's mansion blocks (in the nicest areas) will still have a porter in reception and provide heating and hot water to the flats. Some also provide other services to residents. All of this is covered in the service charge. You'll see more details if you check out some estate agent sites which cover Central London.
How old is this building? And how posh? The usual term would be 'block of flats' or 'mansion block' or tower block', but there are *very* post purpose-built modern buildings in London, often with private pools, parking and gym facilities, and a concierge, which are very definitely 'apartment buildings'. They cost upward of £1m for one bedroom though so unless your character is a millionaire I;d stick with 'posh flat''.

ETA: Avoid the use of 'upscale neighborhood' - either use an area name (Knightsbridge, Regents Park) or just say 'posh area'.

Edited at 2015-01-24 06:28 am (UTC)
Indeed, avoid the term "neghborhood/neighbourhood" except in expressions like "in the neighbourhood (of)"
Thank you. Yes, I was only using that term to try and find out what to call the buildings. In the story itself I've used the name of the area and not the word neighbourhood at all.
Older buildings in an expensive-to-live-in area, and I'm thinking the best term so far would be "mansion block" or even a more general "block of flats" which I can then describe. It's not a main focus of the story, just part of general description of the area the characters find themselves in.

(And thanks for the advice about using the term upscale neighbourhood. It isn't an issue with this story, just what I used to try and find out what to call the buildings, but that's good to know).

Thank you!
Sounds like you're thinking of upmarket condos. We don't have them at all.
No, I wasn't thinking of those, but I suppose I should have mentioned I meant older buildings in an expensive neighbourhood. Looks like "mansion blocks" is the winner. Thanks!
You can certainly get really *very* expensive leasehold flats here in Cambridge... (but we don't use "condo") I'd call it a "block of flats" or perhaps a "posh block of flats". The estate agents use "apartments".
I would call it a block of flats.
(Just to complicate things here)

I recently moved into a flat that is exactly what you describe, and while I would describe it (and just did) as a flat, it was advertised as an 'apartment', which I think is probably Americanisms creeping over to the advertising industry.

It might just be me (mid 20s, first grown up flat), but I'e had trouble describing where I live to people, because 'block of flats' and 'estate' sound dodgier and less nice than where I live, but 'apartment complex'* sounds too American!

*I used to live in an apartment complex in the States and it was very similar