Re: How much living space to you need?
From: John Faust (
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 06:49:01 -0700 (PDT)
There is a fascinating architect named Christopher Alexander (still alive
and well in Berkeley, CA) who authored a series of books in the 70's that
created an architectural pattern language he argues captures "The Timeless
Way of Building". The patterns documented (253 of them) in one of the three
volumes range in scale from regions to towns to town squares to
neighborhoods to housing clusters to houses to rooms and on down. He and his
coauthors have tried to identify the crucial features of these spaces that
make them come alive--spaces one is drawn towards.

One of the patterns, called House For One Person (78), has a marvelous
description, a bit too long to reproduce here. In any case, it concludes
that 300 to 400 sqft will do nicely and that it needs to be part of a group
of houses or ancillary to a larger house. Simplicity is its essence. If you
have never read anything from this series, it is wonderful introduction to
an architectural philosophy that advocates architecture should be done by
those who plan to occupy the structures. His pattern language offers a
"timeless" way to go about it.

I think there is at least one architect on this list who indicated she(?)
used his work for a thesis or the design of a community. Can't remember.


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