Page H2 . 18 December 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Patterns of Home
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    QUIZ
  • Patterns of Home

    Ten Essential Patterns of Home

    This order is one way to think through a design. It should be noted, however, that there is no real scale to the patterns — the first can be used to focus on details of plants and paving; the last can be used to think about the building as a whole and its relationship to its site and its neighbors. Any one of the patterns can be a starting point, a point of departure, for beginning a design.     Series Introduction

    All photos on this page: © David Duncan Livingston except as noted.

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern One — Inhabiting the Site
    Think of the house and its site as a single thing but also as parts shaped by a larger environment. The site is a part of a larger place — a neighborhood, a ridge, a region — and the house itself, no matter how large and complex, is a part of this larger order. In some sense, the house must participate in the larger whole: a whole that includes views; the path of the sun; the presence of neighbors, sound, sidewalks, and roads; the nature of the soil.  
        A HOME IN NATURE   ·   THE CHALLENGE OF SLOPING SITES
    Photo: David Hall

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Two — Creating Rooms, Outside and In
    Buildings give shape to their interior spaces but also to the exterior spaces around them. Imagine the site as containing a mosaic of rooms, some inside and some out. The walls and wings of the house, as well as the paths and features of the site, define these rooms. Think of the outdoor rooms of the site as every bit as positively formed and invested with meaning as the indoor rooms.
        OUTDOOR ROOMS   ·   A QUILT OF COURTS AND ROOMS

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Three — Sheltering Roof
    One of the defining comforts of home is the feeling of being enveloped by a simple, sloping roof. More than any other single element, the form of the roof — as experienced both outside and in — carries the look and meaning of shelter, of home. The overall roof plan, how it orients and shapes the spaces below and around it, how the parts of the roof are linked, and the details of roof construction all form the pattern Sheltering Roof.
        CASCADING ROOF   ·   THE ROOF AS PAVILION

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Four — Capturing Light
    A sheltering roof is primarily a defense against weather, but a home must also open itself to the light and warmth of the sun. Arrange interior spaces to gather light, each according to its needs, over the course of a day and over the course of the seasons. Important rooms deserve balanced light from at least two sides. Above all, use natural light and the forms employed to collect it — windows, dormers, skylights, monitors, and wells — to reinforce the order of the plan.
        LIGHT FROM TWO SIDES   ·   A HOUSE THAT FOLLOWS THE SUN

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Five — Parts in Proportion
    A home is an assembly of parts, materials, and spaces — entry, roof, garage, kitchen, bedroom — and, in some graceful, rhythmic way, all these parts must add up to an orderly and sensible whole. What are the major parts going to be? How big will they be? How will they contain or support the minor parts? Each element is both a part of something larger and a whole with its own constituent parts.
        NATURE AND BUILDINGS   ·   CLUSTER OF FORMS

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Six — The Flow through Rooms
    How we arrive on a site and how we enter the house and move through it have profound influences on our sense of the building as home. The entire sequence of movement through and around the house determines whether we feel welcomed, invited to move farther, or encouraged to linger at a threshold, settled and comfortable within a space.
        ARRIVAL, PASSAGE, AND TRANSITION   ·   PASSAGES

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Seven — Private Edges, Common Core
    Against the flow of movement, rooms are meant to hold activity, to gather and focus the life of the home. A good home balances private and communal space throughout. It offers magnetic and lively centers, reinforced by light and ceiling shape, with circulation at the edges; and it provides claimable private areas for everyone, even if the spaces are tiny (private niches, desks, window seats, and alcoves).
        COMBINING PRIVATE AND PUBLIC   ·   COMMONS HOUSE, PRIVATE WINGS

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Eight — Refuge and Outlook
    One of the abiding pleasures that homes offer is being in and looking out — providing a solid, stable, and protected place from which you can look out toward and over a larger "beyond." Think of how this drama can be enacted on the site — in both major and minor, social and private ways: caves with views, inglenooks open to larger rooms, carved-out terraces looking out on a distant view.
        PROTECTED VIEWS   ·   OUTLOOK IN THE NORTHWEST

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Nine — Places in Between
    The house on its site makes up a series of indoor and outdoor rooms. But many spaces are neither inside nor outside; they are in between. And it is this in between-ness that makes them so permanently appealing. The traditional front porch, carved into the mass of the house, is the archetypal place in between. But such places can be imagined and found throughout a home: bay window seats and beds, balconies, sleeping porches, breezeways, gazebos.
        PORCHES   ·   WINDOW PLACES

    ArchWeek Photo

    Pattern Ten — Composing with Materials
    Finally, a home is not just something of the mind and the imagination. It must be built; made of something: made of materials. Choosing its materials — to support, frame, fill, cover, color, and texture space — is the act of composing the home. Putting materials together in a way that promotes their individual qualities, longevity, and visibility is the art of composing with materials.
        SMALL HOUSE, BEAUTIFUL MATERIALS   ·   THE JOY OF BUILDING

    This presentation is excerpted from Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design, copyright © 2002, available from The Taunton Press and at Amazon.com.

     
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