- 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: 222 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,718 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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I bought it because I want to build my own home, and I wanted some ideas on what, exactly, makes a home pleasant to live in. This book really delivered. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to build, design, or remodel their own home. Many of the details that make a space pleasant for people to be in are discussed--lighting, position with respect to the sun, the shape of a space, etc. Again, I highly recommend.
I was surprised by how radical the book is. Taken separately, the book's radical ideas on how cities and towns should be constructed were a very interesting read, too. The radical ideas don't affect home design TOO much. But it does come up. For instance, they advocate families having one giant shared bathroom.
I didn't rate the book based on whether or not I agree with the ideology/philosophy of the book, though. I rated it based on whether or not it gave me good, solid ideas on how to build a comfortable home. And it did.