Timeless Way of Building

Timeless Way of Building

4.8 4
by Christopher Alexander
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195024028

ISBN-13: 9780195024029

Pub. Date: 08/28/1979

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The theory of architecture implicit in our world today, Christopher Alexander believes, is bankrupt. More and more people are aware that something is deeply wrong. Yet the power of present-day ideas is so great that many feel uncomfortable, even afraid, to say openly that they dislike what is happening, because they are afraid to seem foolish, afraid perhaps that

Overview

The theory of architecture implicit in our world today, Christopher Alexander believes, is bankrupt. More and more people are aware that something is deeply wrong. Yet the power of present-day ideas is so great that many feel uncomfortable, even afraid, to say openly that they dislike what is happening, because they are afraid to seem foolish, afraid perhaps that they will be laughed at.

Now, at last, there is a coherent theory which describes in modern terms an architecture as ancient as human society itself.

The Timeless Way of Building is the introductory volume in the Center for Environmental Structure series, Christopher Alexander presents in it a new theory of architecture, building, and planning which has at its core that age-old process by which the people of a society have always pulled the order of their world from their own being.

Alexander writes, "There is one timeless way of building. It is thousands of years old, and the same today as it has always been. The great traditional buildings of the past, the villages and tents and temples in which man feels at home, have always been made by people who were very close to the center of this way. And as you will see, this way will lead anyone who looks for it to buildings which are themselves as ancient in their form as the trees and hills, and as our faces are."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195024029
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/1979
Series:
Center for Environmental Structures Series
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
272,678
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

The Timeless Way
  1. The timeless way ..... 3

    The Quality

  2. The quality without a name ..... 19
  3. Being alive ..... 41
  4. Patterns of events ..... 55
  5. Patterns of space ..... 75
  6. Patterns which are alive ..... 101
  7. The multiplicity of living patterns ..... 123
  8. The quality itself ..... 137

    The Gate

  9. The flower and the seed ..... 157
  10. Our pattern languages ..... 167
  11. Our pattern languages (cont.) ..... 193
  12. The creative power of language ..... 211
  13. The breakdown of language ..... 225
  14. Patterns which can be shared ..... 243
  15. The realioty of patterns ..... 277
  16. The structure of a language ..... 305
  17. The evolution of a common language for a town ..... 325

    The Way

  18. The genetic power of language ..... 351
  19. Differentiating space ..... 365
  20. One pattern at a time ..... 385
  21. Shaping one building ..... 403
  22. Shaping a group of buildings ..... 427
  23. The process of construction ..... 455
  24. The process of repair ..... 475
  25. The slow emergence of a town ..... 493
  26. Its ageless character ..... 511

    The Kernel of the Way

  27. The kernel of the way ..... 531

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Timeless Way of Building 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
StephenMuires More than 1 year ago
I am full of admiration for Christopher Alexander's writings, work and choice of life path. That path is architecture. Which sounds like a career, not a life path. Yet it is clear from the opening pages of this early book (from 1979) that the writer is searching for the path, the secret, the ingredient of beauty. His question is simple. What is it that makes something beautiful? His focus is buildings, room, arrangements, layouts of villages and towns. And critically he asks that question while dismissing immediately the pat answer that's it's all a matter of taste. It's not a matter of taste. He is very sure of that. He writes that there is a timeless way of building. No one has been able to define it. Alexander sets out to try. The style is both esthetic and philosophical. This is therefore not a technical book about architecture, but rather a meandering exploration that circles around the deepest questions of human life, seen from the standpoint of a builder. The many black-and-white photos illustrate the points he is making. One concept he is engaging as a language term is 'pattern.' There are certain patters in buildings. When the pattern works the building is pleasing. Otherwise it isn't. These patterns are not architectural design plans, they are instead organic, instinctive, feeling-based relationships. This is one of those books that attempt to give evidence of what we all can recognize when we see it. Beauty, harmony, peace. Yet we cannot analyze it, nor forcefully reproduce it. By Stephen Muires, author of 'Ordained - a novel'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a true classic and will be referred to for hundreds of years to come. The book is about the patterns that make a space occupied by humans come alive and grow, or wither and die. It is fundamentally about paying close attention to the world you live on a range of scales. It is about how you can not separate yourself from the world you live in. It is about living sanely with other humans.