A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction PDF Book by Christopher W. Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max  Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel PDF ePub

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

4.393,752 votes • 298 reviews
Published 25 Aug 1977
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN 0195019199

At the core of A Pattern Language is the philosophy 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 formal system which gives them coherence.
This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable making 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 language are outlined, each consisting 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 seems likely that they will be a part of human nature and human action as much in five hundred years as they are today.
A Pattern Language is related to Alexander’s other works in the Center for Environmental Structure series: The Timeless Way of Building (introductory volume) and The Oregon Experiment.

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Reviews

- Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Mon, 07 Sep 2015

Интересный набор идей для организации любого пространства. Примеры на все случаи жизни, как очевидные, так и неожиданные. Планирую в дальнейшем смотреть как в справочник

- Berlin, Germany
Thu, 12 Apr 2012

An essential book for anybody interested in the field. I read it cover to cover, very slowly with breaks and now I feel I have some grasp of what it takes to build a house.
It is of course dated and highly geared towards North American houses but it's still a seminal work. The parts on urbanism are in fact how we in CNW Europe do manage things, so that is heartening.
Extensions to the book for instance how to build houses in very space constrained environments like the Netherlands could be interesting.
What is annoying is how much of today's buildings are not aligned with the patterns in this book. I recommend policy makers and architects to be thumped with this tome on a regular basis.

- The United Kingdom
Fri, 29 Jul 2011

If A New Theory of Urban Design is the summation of the theoretical developments in Christopher Alexander's work, this is the practical how-to guidebook vision of building integrated and human centred spaces, of building spaces that blend internal and external physical environments. I was introduced to this by an architect friend and neighbour when I was doing some writing about topography and (our) community: it is an inspirational and exciting book, although at 1200 pages of architectural and urban design discussion hardly likely to be a holiday blockbuster. Superb!

- Hancock, NH
Sun, 26 May 2013

Patterns are key to understanding what is ailing our landscape. There is an order, a language, for the way a good street is created. For example, there are recognizable parts that make up a good village townscape. Each part — a fence, a lilac, a walkway, a wall, a front door, a roof — each part works with the other parts to create a place that could only be that place in the whole world.
This is the brilliant insight of Christopher Alexander’s amazing book, A Pattern Language. You may have seen it around — it’s an unusual, yellow brick of a book that presents 253 patterns. There are large patterns for country towns, neighborhood boundaries, and ring roads. And smaller patterns for street cafés, pedestrian streets, porches, fruit trees, compost, alcoves, fireplaces, children’s secret play-spaces, dancing in the street. This book can be read in any order—just as a walk across a city or town can take you many places. And it can be read as a long poem in praise of the delights of ordinary places. It’s a stirring book, and like a first encounter with Bach, it opens a view to a better self, a better place. Alexander makes you feel like you can go out and build something beautiful.
A Pattern Language shows us that the relationships between things matter—and that there are no things, really, but relationships. There isn’t a chair, but the relationship of the parts that make up a chair. There isn’t a house, but a series of patterns—a pattern language that creates a house. And that house is a part of other patterns creating a yard, a street, a village.
Read A Pattern Language with its companion book, The Timeless Way of Building

- Bangkok, Thailand
Thu, 30 Jan 2014

I'll start by saying that Christopher Alexander has attempted to develop a more humane system of urban and domestic planning, and has provided a number of thought-provoking ways to implement his vision.
I'll also say that, intellectually, it holds next to no water. By trying to ground the dreamy poetics of Bachelard as "science," you lose the metaphorical value that Bachelard has to offer, while gaining no actual science. It's not like there's any justification for the numbers he tosses in or anything. And by trying to apply the axiom-driven reasoning of mid-century social science to geography and concrete space, he demonstrates its fraudulence as an intellectual movement. I'll leave Carl Jung back in the Eisenhower administration where he belongs, thank you much.
What we're left with then, is a string of speculative sketches, which range from some rather intriguing architectural ideas at best to some embarrassingly determinist urban planning ideas at worst. I didn't need 1200 pages of this. I'm not entirely sure how or why I finished.

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