Book Reviews of A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

January 5, 2017
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I am designing/building my own home and this book helped me adjust my plans until I had something that suits me perfectly instead of something “saleable.” Funny thing, everyone who sees the plan and my initial start is enchanted…. Forget building houses and start building homes. I also read A Timeless Way of Building, which is a nice introduction to this one.
Book Review: A Pattern Language
Rating: 5 stars
This is an eye-opener. How form, structure and space can affect our mood, our sense of place, and our place in the communal structure are all rare insights deftly treated in this book.
Book Review: A great book for understanding your world
Rating: 5 stars
I always knew that I felt comfortable and relaxed in some places (houses, rooms, neighborhoods), but it was often hard to put my finger on why. After reading this book, I know. It’s a bit hard to explain, but after Alexander explains the importance of, say, an entrance transition, you’ll know why even though you feel completely relaxed around Bill, you’re never relaxed at his house, which opens straight onto the street. Few books have changed my perceptions of my everyday world as much as this one.
The vogue for Sarah Susanka’s “Not so big house” books utterly escapes me when Alexander’s book is more helpful, informative and thought-provoking in every respect.

Book Review: planning and design resource
Rating: 4 stars
This resource book is a somewhat obscure but very useful tome on the use of space by people across cultural and generational bounds. For the practicing planning and design professional it offers useful insights that are sometimes obvious, but not always reduced to this succinct perspective that the investigators bring to their study. It is a worthwhile addition to the library of reference books.

Book Review: It makes you feel good…
Rating: 5 stars
Never before have I read a book which is nominally a textbook that made me feel “right”. A Pattern Language succeeds without trying to define all the reasons that make places comfortable. Totally in tune with how people work, play and interact. Chris Alexander would have to be one of the most profoundly insightful people I have read. The man is a legend in his own time.

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