A Pattern Language

A Pattern Language

Towns, Buildings, Construction

Book - 1977
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"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. This classic handbook presents a language which ordinary people can use to express themselves in their own communities or homes, and to better communicate with each other.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1977.
ISBN: 9780195019193
Branch Call Number: 720.1 ALE
Characteristics: xliv, 1171 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Ishikawa, Sara
Silverstein, Murray


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Aug 02, 2017

This excellent book should be mandatory reading for every muncipal/ city/ provincial representative who needs to make a decision regarding housing clusters, sidewalk to house ratio, public parks, walkability, trees as district boundaries, grey water usage, the restriction of neighbourhood size, and so much more. Basically, Ontario and its elected representatives have a lot to learn about making our cities more livable versus more densely packed and stressful. A bench and six trees named after a councillor does not make a park! Height limitations matter -- and affect noise level, access to sunshine, and one's sense of belonging to a real community! Everyone can learn a lot about important fundamental social needs by reading this book!!!

Jan 10, 2016

This book reads not like a guide for building houses, but like a bible for a new religion. Read this book now!

Architecture is like chemistry. You take the its elements and combine them to build structures. This book meticulously describes the elements of architecture, such as "public outdoor room," "children's home," and "light on two sides of every room." It also covers the design of towns.
I found it fascinating to read this very specific idea of how society should look. Besides being practical, this book is an interesting philosophical look at society. It makes me want to build a city/social networking site/house/lunar colony.

Oct 27, 2015

I'm proud to say this book is at SPL because I jumped up and down and ranted to Sam Coghlan, then library CEO, about the sheer magic of Alexander's book. If you design stuff—or just love great design—you have to read this. A worthy successor to Stewart Brand's design writing in THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG. To address jasonruhl's note: yes, this book can tell you how to design anything. I know literally dozens of UX and UI designers who swear by it...and I've designed a software system around pattern analysis, inspired by the simple but deceptively profound insights here. Be well.

May 04, 2011

Densely packed with information that has been arranged into a complete philosophy for planning, designing, and even using space that is well researched and documented. A great resource for those interested in exploring the meanings and reasoning behind architectural layout, organization, and the rules it follows. However, seeing as this book is some 30 years old, it feels somewhat dated and does not address some more modern architectural thought processes. It can also seem overbearing and too prescriptive at times. The authors tread a fine line between being too 'all encompassing' and being too vague. Can a book really tell you how to design anything, no matter where you are, from 'metropolis to room'?

diesellibrarian Sep 27, 2010

One of my favourite books of all time. There's really nothing that compares. If you're planning home or a remodel, the common-sense principles herein will help you to create a space where you can be "human." The principles are supported by research and anecdote, and well illustrated with real-world examples.

Dec 07, 2009



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