A penthouse apartment or penthouse is an apartment or condominium that is on one of the highest floors of an apartment building or condominium. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartments by luxury features.
In architecture, the term penthouse is used to refer to a structure on the roof of a building that is set back from the outer walls. These structures do not occupy the entire roof deck. High-rise buildings will often have penthouse structures enclosing mechanics such as those in an elevator machine room.

While European designers and architects long recognized the potential in creating living spaces that make use of rooftops and such setbacks, in US cities, exploitation of these spaces began in earnest in the 1920s. It was a matter of news when the development of a rooftop apartment at the Plaza Hotel overlooking Central Park was announced in 1923, and this was followed by rapid development of luxury penthouse apartments in the following years.[1]

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