- Series: Center for Environmental Structure (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 1171 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195019199
- ISBN-13: 978-0195019193
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 2 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 224 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure)
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The second of three books published by the Center for Environmental Structure to provide a "working alternative to our present ideas about architecture, building, and planning," A Pattern Language offers a practical language for building and planning based on natural considerations. The reader is given an overview of some 250 patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of their own. Extraordinarily thorough, coherent, and accessible, this book has become a bible for homebuilders, contractors, and developers who care about creating healthy, high-level design.
"A wise old owl of a book, one to curl up with in an inglenook on a rainy day.... Alexander may be the closest thing home design has to a Zen master."--The New York Times
"A classic. A must read!"--T. Colbert, University of Houston
"The design student's bible for relativistic environmental design."--Melinda La Garce, Southern Illinois University
"Brilliant....Here's how to design or redesign any space you're living or working in--from metropolis to room. Consider what you want to happen in the space, and then page through this book. Its radically conservative observations will spark, enhance, organize your best ideas, and a wondrous home, workplace, town will result."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The most important book in architecture and planning for many decades, a landmark whose clarity and humanity give hope that our private and public spaces can yet be made gracefully habitable."--The Next Whole Earth Catalog
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More careful expansion of the cities along logical pathways, with rainwater harvesting, edible self-managed self-watered landscaping, and tree-shaded roads with neighborhood shops and small industry woven in would have created more jobs and more meaning plus kept people together in sustainable neighborhoods at a much lower cost, both initially and long-term. Now we face the prospect of bulldozing entire vacant blocks and turning them into the rural spaces that so many longed to be near to begin with. This is not good business sense-- it's pathology.
'A Pattern Language' is the perfect medicine for this sickness. Like a healthy diet, it gets down to basics: how the human body relates to space; how people 'feel' in certain environments; the criteria of places that draw people in as opposed to others that are left usused or avoided. These principles are classic patterns that have stood the test of time, and Mr. Alexander gives numerous examples from around the world, from entire regions down to the height of windowsills and the best designs for office space.
Anyone planning their own house needs this book! I designed a big house in Arizona for my large family using these principles and it's amazingly light and functional while being cool in summer and warm in winter. The kitchen is smaller than most custom homes, yet eight people can prepare food together comfortably while 3 more surf the internet and Dad reads his paper.