new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online
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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.

Amazon.com Review

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.

Review


"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 infrom 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.


From the Back Cover

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.

About the Author

Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is an architect and builder who has built in many countries. He is also Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Bat-Radish
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A note on Christopher Alexander''s context
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2017
Other reviews correctly address this book''s wholesomeness and holistic approach to building good cities and buildings and other structural frames for full, good human lives in a healthy world. Alexander does have a few particular crotchets, however, which have a... See more
Other reviews correctly address this book''s wholesomeness and holistic approach to building good cities and buildings and other structural frames for full, good human lives in a healthy world. Alexander does have a few particular crotchets, however, which have a surprisingly deep effect on the structure of the language he lays out here. Watch for these, and be reminded (as Alexander also reminds you) that patterns are the product of the people who made them, and may disappear or change for different groups.

1. Swimming. He is intensely focused on swimming as a major factor in civic planning and personal recreation. It''s a considerable contortion at multiple points.

2. Dancing, especially in the streets. Alexander was a great fan of the Peckham Clinic which focused on (guess what) swimming and dancing as exercise and recreation. It shows.

3. Many of his patterns make an uncomfortably dated misstep when they pertain to women--and another, subtler one when dealing with work concerns and issues of children while not mentioning women directly. Women working outside the home is not a gutiding concern or a base assumption for him; a base assumption IS that women prefer and want to care for children. It''s a very important shaping concern for many other parts of life, so this blind spot, characteristic of its time and place and socioeconomic environment, is very significant.

4. Disabled people, other than mildly infirm and otherwise hale elderly people, do not exist. Another blind spot.

Bear these crotchets in mind as you consider these patterns, and how to find even better patterns for a wonderful world.
158 people found this helpful
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JLJ
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of the Most Unique Books I''ve Ever Encountered
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2015
This book is insightful and fun to read. It is also a book that is easy to pick up and read a bit, and put it down and come back later to pick up where you left off, because it is broken into many very short chapters, each of which contain a key idea. It''s hard... See more
This book is insightful and fun to read. It is also a book that is easy to pick up and read a bit, and put it
down and come back later to pick up where you left off, because it is broken into many very short chapters,
each of which contain a key idea. It''s hard to describe this book, because it is so unique in its approach
to telling the reader "how things ought to be" concerning everything from civil planning and city layout,
to floor-plans, to architectural design, to furnishing. The author is very opinionated and does not shy away
from boldly telling you what is wrong with the physical constructs of our urban, suburban, and rural areas,
and how all of that should be properly done in his imagined ideal world.

In some ways, this book is like reading the professional diary of your crazy uncle who is constantly ranting
about what''s wrong with the world, and how he thinks it should be set right. However, after reading it for
a while, you get the impression that the author is not really crazy, so much as he is a brilliant eccentric
whose experience and understanding is based on an extremely broad appreciation of how human beings choose
to craft their surroundings, and how we get it right, and how we get it wrong, and why.

Be forewarned... you are not going to agree with everything the author says.
I don''t agree, for example, with his outlandish claim that living in a home that is more than four stories
about the ground will eventually make you crazy, because I have loved living on the top floor of my
high-rise condo for the past ten years. I also don''t agree with his idea that all kitchen cabinets should
be open shelves with no doors, because the doors just get in the way, hide what is contained therein,
and are essential useless. I must admit, however, that I love reading the author''s insights on things
with which I disagree with him, and I have to admit that even on such issues... he''s got good points!
Many times I find myself saying "Almost, thou persuadest me."

To be fair, I actually do agree with the author''s views regarding the vast majority of his observations,
as they are all just good common-sense approaches, and I must admit they often leave me thinking
"Yes, that''s such a beautifully simple truth... why don''t we always build it that way, or do it that way?"

This book gives you the benefit of the sage wisdom of an author who is genuinely worth reading
and considering. Even though this book is decades-old, most of its observations are timeless.
It''s so hard to classify the book. Is it a Western approach to Feng Shui ... without all the questionable
Eastern Spiritualism, and more of practical philosophy on how to best craft your environment?
Or is it better described as foundational reading for everyone from a City Planner, to an Architect,
to anyone building a house, to anyone one looking to make their home a more pleasant place?

However you choose to classify it... this book is a unique, delightful treatise on how things should
ideally be in order for human beings to be more comfortable, productive, and happy in their surroundings.
94 people found this helpful
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AMB
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Change your worldview, and change the world, with this book.
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2018
In college, I was so intrigued by this way of examining the spaces we live in, from our literal kitchen sink to the way our cities and countries are arranged--and was delighted when my 17-year-old discovered it independently through TED talk etc. recommendations. He treats... See more
In college, I was so intrigued by this way of examining the spaces we live in, from our literal kitchen sink to the way our cities and countries are arranged--and was delighted when my 17-year-old discovered it independently through TED talk etc. recommendations. He treats it like his bible, reading it passage by passage and noticing how the way chairs, streets, etc. are arranged affects how we live. He''s considering city planning or something as a career now, but it''s also just a really readable, interesting book that ideally, tons of people should read so that we can live in a more beautiful and livable world!
23 people found this helpful
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Richard Bakare
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Design with Life in Mind
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020
Just finished A Pattern Language. One of the single most important books I have ever read. It’s topic and title are somewhat deceiving. This is a book more about the way in which we live individually and collectively as people; and how the structures we build up around... See more
Just finished A Pattern Language. One of the single most important books I have ever read. It’s topic and title are somewhat deceiving. This is a book more about the way in which we live individually and collectively as people; and how the structures we build up around these lives either enrich or detract from that experience. The authors have created a timeless way of communicating the “how and why” of building structures and society around us by working from the macro down to the most minute details and back up again. It believe this should be mandatory reading for everyone.
9 people found this helpful
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Elabella
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good ideas, but impractical
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2019
I liked the book because the book has very good points and ideas, however, transitioning to these ideas is quite impractical from sociological and financial standpoints. It posits starting with a completely clean slate of vacant land with no individual ownership and no... See more
I liked the book because the book has very good points and ideas, however, transitioning to these ideas is quite impractical from sociological and financial standpoints. It posits starting with a completely clean slate of vacant land with no individual ownership and no infrastructure. Additionally, it erroneously assumes that people will build their homes on logic instead of emotions. I gave it a 4-star because the ideas were thought -provoking and insightful. This is not a simple book. If you''re looking to build a house, this is not the book you want. If, however, you''re interested in urban development this could be a reference book.
7 people found this helpful
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ML Bilyeu
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Incredible book for anyone interested in designing their own home
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2019
I bought all three books in the series as I prepare to design my future home. I have always been attracted to certain designs but could never quite put my finger on why it was that I liked a certain layout or design of a room. The patterns in this book have been really... See more
I bought all three books in the series as I prepare to design my future home. I have always been attracted to certain designs but could never quite put my finger on why it was that I liked a certain layout or design of a room. The patterns in this book have been really helpful, and in fact I have completely changed what I first intended to build based on these patterns. A must-read for any architect or home builder.
9 people found this helpful
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cuandoyporque
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s like a Montgomery Ward Chistmas catalogue for grown-ups
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2021
I can spend hours just reading it and redesigning my house in my mind. Not everything is practical, of course when you start with an existing building and a limited budget, but I''ve used several of the ideas in various remodels of my homes. I think the quote is from Sarah... See more
I can spend hours just reading it and redesigning my house in my mind. Not everything is practical, of course when you start with an existing building and a limited budget, but I''ve used several of the ideas in various remodels of my homes. I think the quote is from Sarah Susanka, but "A bay window is the grown-up version of building a child''s fort under the dining table" perfectly describes the wonder of A Pattern Language.
2 people found this helpful
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Fritz the Cat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The BIBLE on Real Land Planning and Design
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2020
The Bible on “genuine” urban planning and the recipes to long lasting livable cities , homes taking questions from time tested practices over the centuries. Written half century ago by a Boomer, you wonder about all these Millenial Green preachers protesting for the very... See more
The Bible on “genuine” urban planning and the recipes to long lasting livable cities , homes taking questions from time tested practices over the centuries. Written half century ago by a Boomer, you wonder about all these Millenial Green preachers protesting for the very same changes. It was way ahead of its time. The last 15 years really saw some of the patterns getting implemented. Should be in the library of every designer and planner. Written much like a collection of recipes with instructions, materials etc.
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Top reviews from other countries

Lucy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enlightening and Practical
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2015
I''ve just bought the 10th copy of this book.......Someone gave it to me more than 10 yrs ago, recommending it as their favorite book - and I find that I read and re-read it all the time and I''m always recommending it and sending it to people. Whether youre interested in...See more
I''ve just bought the 10th copy of this book.......Someone gave it to me more than 10 yrs ago, recommending it as their favorite book - and I find that I read and re-read it all the time and I''m always recommending it and sending it to people. Whether youre interested in architecture or not this is a fascinating book, its written in very short chapters that cross reference and link up back and forwards across the book meaning that every time you pick it up you follow a different thread, sometimes into the realms of town planning and sometimes into hand building your own house and all points in-between. Christopher Alexander introduces us to a wide variety of the simple formulas that make a house into an excellent living space and demonstrates why some interior spaces are successful and why some fail. It''s both enlightening and practical, I highly recommend it.
8 people found this helpful
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Daniel4
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A little treasure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 16, 2012
Bought this book on a recommendation from a friend as I am in the process of designing a self-build house. I''m so glad I read this. Despite the fact that it was written in the 70''s, it is still full of relevant, practical, thought provoking and wonderful advice and ideas...See more
Bought this book on a recommendation from a friend as I am in the process of designing a self-build house. I''m so glad I read this. Despite the fact that it was written in the 70''s, it is still full of relevant, practical, thought provoking and wonderful advice and ideas for anyone involved in building design. All the advice is focused on making the spaces where we live better for us and not about making design statements. Loved the unusual structure of the book, the ratings for each of the "patterns" and the surprisingly poetic way it is written. What I really appreciated is great design advice about things I couldn''t find in any of the self-build magazines, for example, where to put your building on your plot to the best height for your window sills.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I highly recommend either grabbing a copy of this or looking through ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 15, 2017
If you''re studying architecture, I highly recommend either grabbing a copy of this or looking through it in the library. I found it useful for a studio project to use this as my starting point.
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Shirley Dow
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
all fine thanks
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2018
all fine thanks
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2016
very happy with the service you provide. solid.
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new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online

new arrival A discount Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center discount for Environmental Structure Series) online