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Design Patterns ~ my choices

Category: Barn Conversion Journal November 29th, 2007 by mbc

I’ve already written about one of my favourite building design books A Pattern Language – Towns Buildings Construction by Alexander, Ishikawa & Silverstein. I thought it would be worthwhile stating which of the patterns I’ll be paying most attention to in my design. The list is not exhaustive, other patterns will have a bearing, new patterns will come along, chosen patterns will fall by the wayside. But here are my main current choices:

106 Positive outdoor space.
A complex pattern, but generally – give outdoor space a distinct and definite purpose, make spaces entities.

112 Entrance transition.
Provide a graceful transition between the outside and the inside.

125 Stair seats.
Seats on stairs provide a vantage point, but don’t remove the sitter from the action.

126 Something roughly in the middle.
A pattern to apply when designing the outdoor space, especially the yard between the two barns.

128 Indoor sunlight.
Maximise the number and size of windows thereby maximising the indoor sunlight.

133 Staircase as a stage.
A flared bottom step gives the stairs a function that may otherwise be overlooked. See also 125.

142 Sequence of sitting spaces.
Vary sitting opportunities through the range of rooms and spaces in the building.

145 Bulk storage.
Around 15-20% of the volume of the building should be given over to bulk storage. This can sensibly be designed with reference to pattern 162 North Face.

161 Sunny place.
Maximise the use of the space to the south of the building in the angle between the wall and the ground.

163 Outdoor room.
Build an enclosed outdoor room with trellis’s, hedges, columns and trees, that is open to the sky.

168 Connection to the earth.
Make the interface between the building and the earth as ambiguous as possible through clever design of steps, paths and terraces.

170 Fruit trees.
Applicable in various places, but again especially the yard between the two barns.

171 Tree places.
Plant trees to form distinct places, ensure empathy between the trees and the surrounding buildings.

175 Green house.

176 Garden seat.

178 Compost.

180 Window place.
Provide seating to sit in or before windows.

181 The fire.
The true heart of any home.

182 Eating atmosphere.
Have a large table in a pool of light.

185 Sitting circle.
Create a sitting place where the inhabitants can face each other and that is not cut through by a corridor. Provide plenty of comfortable seating.

204 Secret place.
Every home needs a secret place!

Construction Patterns
As the base structure of the building is already established, I am employing a minimal number of construction patterns.

229 Duct space.
Cables and wiring are always a pain – best to preplan for them and keep them out of the way and out of sight wherever possible.

230 Radiant heat.

232 Roof caps.
Ornament the roofline.

237 Solid doors with glass.

238 Filtered light.
Light that passes through leaves or stained glass is magical…

241 Seat spots.
Choose seating spots carefully for sunlight or shade and the view.

242 Front door bench.

245 Raised flowers.
Use raised beds to protect flowers from heavy feet and bring flowers closer to their admirers.

246 Climbing plants.
Blend the building and the plants.

Update: I reviewed and updated this list in September 2010.

If you enjoyed that post, then read these…

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A rainbow rose over the pipeline today! I must admit I loathe the thing.

category: ‘Barn Conversion Journal

Rest and Recuperation
Firstly, I must apologise for the infrequency of my recent posting.

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A Pattern Language – Towns Buildings Construction
Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein ~ 1977, Oxford University Press, New York.

tag: ‘Design Patterns

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | 4 Comments » « Leave Yours

4 Responses

  1. Code for Sustainable Homes | my barn conversion Says:

    […] and issues of The Code for Sustainable Homes can be used in the same way as I’ve used design patterns , to help focus on detail and polish the overall […]

  2. Alexanders Pattern Language | My Place Of My Own Says:

    […] also think I’d selected too many patterns, choosing mainly those that fit, rather than those that I really valued. This time I’d be more selective in my ‘palette’ – careful selection would […]

  3. Design Patterns ~ my choices ~ update | my barn conversion Says:

    […] back at the end of 2007 I selected a number design patterns from Christopher Alexander’s excellent ‘A Pattern Language – Towns Buildings […]

  4. Design pattern implementation – stairs | my barn conversion Says:

    […] use of patterns evolved through a couple of iterations – my choices in November 2007 and updated in September […]

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