A Pattern Language : Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander (1977, Hardcover)
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About this product
- SynopsisIn this volume, 253 archetypal patterns consisting of problem statements, discussions, illustrations, and solutions provide lay persons with a framework for engaging in architectural design.,You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction. After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. "Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.
- AuthorChristopher Alexander
- Number Of Pages1216 pages
- Publication Date1977-08-25
- PublisherOxford University Press, Incorporated
- Copyright Date1977
- Weight32.8 Oz
- Height2 In.
- Width5.7 In.
- Length7.9 In.
- Reviews"A classic. A must read!"--T. Colbert, University of Houston,"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,"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 wondroushome, workplace, town will result."--San Francisco Chronicle,"The design student's bible for relativistic environmental design."--Melinda La Garce, Southern Illinois University,"The most important book in architecture and planning for many decades, alandmark whose clarity and humanity give hope that our private and public spacescan yet be made gracefully habitable."--The Next Whole Earth Catalogdelights....It's simply a great book--a bracing adventure in architecturalthought, a lift for the spirit, an inspiration for practical work.
Most relevant reviews
- zenergyoneNov 30, 2010by
A Pattern launguage
My freind was telling me about this book and I think now that there are three in this series. I will get all eventually, but when my friend over 20 years ago was going to build his house he came in second place to have his house built by this class who was using this book as a guidance. He even showed me the rough copy of the book before it was printed to show proof this stuff works. He didn'g get his house built but they helped him design his and his wifes house and question everything about the design of the house so no space is underutilized. I am sure it will be a good reader since I thought I wanted to be an architect, but alas math and me didn't really get along. The reason I bought it was so when I buy homes and remodel them, I will look for efficent was to do it.
- piker30Feb 21, 2010by
the very best of a pattern language
i got to know the work of christopher alexander a few years ago because of a very well-respected architecture teacher, since then i have taken it out of the library more times than i can remember, even if i also read the theory of some starchitects, christopher alexander's theory keeps being as fresh and as useful as the first time i read it
- lldrum10May 10, 2009by
Great reference tool for considerate people.
This book is a must have for city planners, architects, designers, people looking to buy a home, Realtors, and parents with young children. It explains the value of things like pedestrian trails without vehicle traffic to disrupt the safety therein. I wish more people were party to the knowledge in this classic text.
- 468616602@delet...Sep 04, 2008by
I highly recommend this text
A reference to this book was made in another architectural source. The idea of having a grouping of patterns for planning space, inside and out, and interactively, was intriguing. I enjoy the book as it gives insights and ideas about what I want to create or why I enjoy certain spaces.